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  • Writer's pictureArielle Kouyoumdjian

If You Had One Superpower...

I remember my answer to this question from when my friends and I debated it during recess in elementary school… I’ve always said my superpower would be persuasion–a rhetoric so powerful that it could unequivocally convince anyone who listened. Climate change, and the impending devastation of our planet, constantly weighs on me. When I discuss this gnawing sense of doom with my friends, we fall silent after a while. Suffocated by news of record breaking wildfires, floods, and heat-related deaths, we are consumed by the fact that our society is nowhere near where it needs to be in terms of the climate policy, the radical transformations in consumer and corporate behavior, and drastic sustainability measures we need to save our planet. Nothing makes me feel more helpless. Politically paralyzed, and without a stake in the financial game, we are frustratingly limited to peaceful resistance and speeches that draw tears, but fall on deaf ears. Our world is burning before our eyes, and all we can do is hold up signs? I want not only to be heard, but to be listened to. In the field of climate justice, rhetoric is key. I want to speak to all the climate skeptics, the adults who say, “I’ll be dead by then anyway…”, the politicians who have bigger problems to worry about than global destruction, the economists driven by the short-term reward of gas guzzling industries, the school administrators who ignore emails about sustainability initiatives, the kids who have given up on climate change because they feel they can’t make a difference. I want to convince them all that change is possible. It requires momentum, dedication, and discomfort, but change is possible, and within reach. We may have reached the “point of no return,” but there is no point at which we cannot begin.

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