By Brie Baumert and Anna Rahrick
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Climate change is a frightening concept for many people; however, here in Minnesota, it is easy to disregard it as we suffer through freezing cold, snow-filled winters. What we often don’t hear or think about, though, are the people around the world who are currently experiencing struggles due to our warming earth. We barely give a thought to the people in Fiji who worry daily about the rising ocean, countries in Africa that are experiencing increasing levels of disease due to droughts, or the indigenous people across the world who depend upon the environment that they are slowly seeing destroyed.

Last week at Conference of the Parties (COP23), students from CSB/SJU, had the opportunity to hear about some very impactful and personal stories shared by victims of climate change all over the world. While Minnesota isn’t sinking underwater, experiencing tremendous storms, or suffering from a significant shortage of food and water, someone somewhere in the world is. Just because we aren’t personally living the effects of climate change doesn’t make it any less real.

Now, we can’t force you to care about climate change. But, we challenge you to take a minute and see how the climate is affecting other people who are living on this earth, people like us. Watch a documentary or read an article about a group of people who are directly affected by the warming of the earth and you may find yourself more invested in protecting the only home we have. Climate change extends beyond us here at CSB/SJU—it affects everyone, and we still have time to do something about it.

The Global Shapers Survey 2017 found that, for the third year in a row, millennials believe climate change is the most serious issue affecting the world. The same survey showed that 78.1 percent of the participants are willing to change their lifestyle to protect the environment. Are you willing to do the same?

This is the opinion of Brie Baumert, CSB senior and Anna Rahrick, CSB senior