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Paris to Pittsburgh: climate change— and how to solve it

Paris to Pittsburgh: climate change— and how to solve it

2019 has experienced a number of natural disasters, and studies show that these events are only going to become more extreme and more frequent in the coming years. The Environmental Action Committee has recognized that these changes are taking place, and on Sept. 18, they hosted a film called Paris to Pittsburgh paired with a panel to educate students on the effects of climate change and what people can do about it. 

Paris to Pittsburgh is a film produced by Bloomberg Media and Radical Media to draw attention to what climate change means for communities throughout the United States but also to help give people some hope by showing what people can do right now to start mitigating possible effects of climate change. 

Part of what spurred this movie as well as recent climate action was the United States pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords. In June of 2017, President Trump decided to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement because he said that he was “elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” The Paris Climate Agreement was signed by every country on Earth to set goals for carbon emissions reductions. In response to President Trump’s decisions, the film notes that states, cities, universities, and businesses all pledged to uphold the goals for the United States laid out in the Paris Agreement. 

After noting what response there has been already, Paris to Pittsburgh shows what will happen if we do not take any actions regarding climate change. According to the documentary, rising sea levels and rising global temperatures are having an effect on Earth, and people are feeling the widespread effects now. More than 2.5 million homes are in danger of being underwater by the end of the century, according to midline estimates. Wildfires will become more extreme due to shifting areas of moisture that result from ice caps melting. Weather events will become more drastic and severe, as already witnessed in numerous once-in-a-lifetime hurricanes and superstorms that have happened within the last decade alone. 

After showing the potentially dire effects of climate change on communities, Paris to Pittsburgh offers a way forward. The documentary explained how local policymakers and business leaders are laying out their plans for creating a more renewable future. Additionally, the film touched upon how energy producers in Iowa explained that solar business is booming in the Midwest, and mayors of major U.S. cities are committed to moving their cities to 100% renewable energies by 2050. 

Following the film, the Environmental Action Group hosted a small panel, including Natalie Lana ‘20, the president of the Environmental Action Club. Each panel member emphasized the importance of pressuring legislators to focus on climate change, as well as making environmentally conscious choices. The Environmental Action Club and other groups on campus are continuing to emphasize the importance of fighting climate change. On Sept. 20, the group led a Climate Strike on the quad, in tandem with other climate strikes around the world. Paris to Pittsburgh was part of the Baltimore Environmental Film Series, and the Environmental Action Club will continue to sponsor environmentally-minded films throughout the school year.

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Paris to Pittsburgh: climate change— and how to solve it