Zach Antoyan is a political science senior and Mustang News liberal columnist. | Ian Billings/Mustang News

Zachary Antoyan

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Zachary Antoyan is a political science senior and Mustang News liberal columnist. These views do not necessarily reflect the opinion or editorial coverage of Mustang News.

For about forty columns, I’ve avoided talking about climate change. Every week the dirty-hippie-liberal in me quietly asks, “We gonna talk about it this time?” and my response is usually, “Shut up and keep making hemp bracelets.” But the fact that I find polar bears to be as adorable as tiny giraffes has finally pushed this topic into the forefront, because according to a New York Times article, Antarctic real-estate is about to get a major reduction. Yes, I know polar bears don’t live in the southern hemisphere, they only live in the Arctic, but ice is melting everywhere so let’s not be so anal about our humorous references.

Over the past decade or so, all the chicken-little scientists have been screaming that, “The polar ice-caps are melting, the polar ice-caps are melting!” and no one decided to do anything about it because ice is cold and everyone likes new beachfront property. Unfortunately however, the same article referenced above also says a result of this melt means a 10-foot rise in the sea level around the world is inevitable. Not just possible, not just projected, not just has a good chance. This is as guaranteed as the Chicago Cubs not winning the world series.

But there is a deep, deep irony in the fact that I’ve delayed talking about this subject. Just as I have neglected the topic for weeks and weeks, so too has the world turned a blind eye to this phenomenon. As of this year, approximately 25 percent of you still believe that climate change isn’t even a real threat to our current way of life.

In truth, I am passionate about the issues surrounding climate change. Sustainability shouldn’t be a perk that companies tack onto their business models to appeal to customers. Sustainability should be a way of life, and not just in terms of the environment and natural resources. But plenty of people do not share this view. I choose not to argue with religious fanatics because I don’t see the point in arguing over something when I know neither of us is going to yield any ground to the other.

Along that line, I choose not to argue about climate change because, for some reason, no amount of facts or testimony will dissuade Fox News from giving climate change deniers equal representation. Despite the sheer volume of studies, vast consensus among researchers and the celebrity power of Al Gore, convincing people that “manbearpig” — no, wait — that climate change is a clear and present danger amounts to a moot point.

Additionally, I worry that convincing people on an individual basis will do little to deter the impending change, just as me choosing to drink from a re-usable water bottle won’t affect the amount of plastic that is dumped in land fills. My perspective is that of the defeatist, because in some ways I believe the only way we are going to get massive amounts of people on the same page is when they see their back deck suddenly become a pier. I know future-Zach is going to be pissed off when half of California is under water, but present-Zach is of the mind that his little column won’t convince the populace that that is even a reality.

But suppose the citizenry of the United States is hit with some cosmic rays of reason and foresight and everyone understands that this is a problem for the right now and not for the future versions of themselves. We still have yet to deal with the massive industries of other countries contributing to the problem. Countries justify their actions by claiming that — just as the U.S. was able to pollute its environment in the name of economic progress — they should be allowed to do the same in this day and age. However flawed that logic is, it’s what they stick by, just like the religious fanatic (please notice that I say fanatic).

So what now? How do we resolve this issue? I’m not entirely sure, and that is the biggest reason I avoided this issue in the first place: I don’t have a solution. But in case you haven’t been outside all week, it’s been pretty hot in San Luis Obispo, and if I’m going to blame something, I might as well blame global warming. I don’t enjoy writing about problems without providing some sort of solution, but as for this topic, we’re still stuck trying to convince everyone it is a real problem, or at least a pertinent one. Maybe I’ll walk around farmer’s market with a “REPENT” sign, seems to work for the fanatics.

There, hippie-liberal rant over.

This is Zachary Antoyan, starting to spend an unhealthy amount of time on the Reddit page for cute animals and such. But seriously, I can’t stop. Help. Have a fantastic week, everyone.

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