The cat broke my bed… and other updates

I’ve been struggling with what to put on the blog lately. I’ve just been overwhelmed with school and homework as we are in the midst of midterm season, but!! that means that we half way through the semester!! That’s super exciting. Junior year has been full of opportunities so far and I have been fortunate enough to be involved in some really cool research projects and organizations this semester.

Currently I am the secretary of LUC’s chapter of IGNITE, which is a nonpartisan organization that works to encourage female participation in politics, whether that is running for office, working in politics, or just something simple like voting and being more informed in politics. Women make up 51% of the American population, yet only something like 25% of the seats in congress are women. That is not fair representation. So, IGNITE works to increase female representation and involvement.

I am also a member of the Kohima research project this semester! Loyola has partnered with a college in the Kohima region of India to help build their environmental science program and help the development in their region. I am SUPER duper excited about that one.

Anyways, that and school have been what has been keeping me pretty busy lately, but I’ve had some fun too. Instead of describing it all, I’ll just show you some photos of what else I’ve been up to.

Armin’s niece turned one! Funny story, they were born on the same day! So his sister planned an octopus themed birthday for the birthday girl that weekend and then arm and I celebrated on monday, his actual birthday.
ARMIN BIRTHDAY! We went to Homeslice and got to sit on the back patio for the first time!! We stuffed our selves with pizza and cookie dough balls. 10/10
I went home after I turned 21 and had a cocktail at Traverso’s, our family friend’s restaurant and one of my parents favorite places. It was really fun to be able to do that at a place I had been coming to since I was a kid.
Armin celebrated with his family at a Penrose Brewing in Geneva! They ordered a bunch of different pizzas from around the area and he got to try and rank them all. I think dominos was the winner?? also the shirts??
We played heads up and I learned how competitive some of the Nikravans are lol
My mom’s house went on the market in september.
She really likes the apartment! We were all afraid when she moved in like 3 weeks ago that she would hate it, but she loves it!! I like it too. Its nice to have somebody who always wants to hang out. I don’t love cleaning up after her or her smelly food, but it is what it is.
Now that Armin and I are twenty one it’s kinda fun to experiment with drinks now! These are a blueberry lemon vodka fizz recipe that I found on pinterest! Super yummy. We also went to binnys like a week or two ago and bought the funkiest thing we could find for under $30. I found Vikings Blod?? and he found a cherry beer, which if you know armin is not surprising, and a caramel and cinnamon cider that screams fall. We haven’t had either of his picks yet, but the vikings blod is suprising not bad??
My bed?? broke?? Honestly have no idea. I was doing homework on it like a week ago and one corner of it just collapsed. I have no evidence but I am convinced Waffles did it, because she didn’t even react when it happened and its easier for her to get on and off.
She’s literally the cutest thing?? How is she 120?? She is a baby!
Waffles is convinced that she is dating Armin. But like?? look at them!!!
Waffles and I went for a walk! (Armin not pictured. Honestly when in doubt just assume Armin was there too, if we’re being honest)
We have gone on 3 subsequent walks and none of them went as well as this one. I think she was just so shocked that It actually happened.
My Environmental Health professor used this graphic in one of his powerpoints and I absolutely lost it. You need some humor when your class starts at 8 am i think.
She was all tired out after waking me up at 4:30 :/

Anyways, that’s pretty much what I have been up to the past month or so. Nothing too crazy and just a lot of cat content.

Check out this article!

Hello everyone!
Today, I just wanted to share an incredibly interesting article I found that really goes into the topic of climate migrants. Its from the New York Times by Abrahm Lustgarten who is a senior environmental reporter for ProPublica. Lustgarten tends to specialize on the intersection of business, climate, and energy. Actually, ProPublica and the New York Times formed a partnership for this series of articles.

It is the first article in a two part series on climate migrants. This one looks at the issue internationally, and the other looks at it in the context of the United States. I found this to be one of the most comprehensive, yet fascinating articles on this topic and wanted to share.

Leave a message below and let me know your thoughts! I am curious if you find this as fascinating and as heart breaking as I do. It really served as a call to action for me. It shows that people really do need my help. I might be trying to fix a sinking ship, but better to work to the end than to bail out and let others die, am I right?

Anyways, off the depressing note, I’ll be back this weekend with a more standard blog post.

Will it be more about climate migrants? Or will it be about the second week of me living with my geriatric cat? We’ll see which infuriates me more in the next few days.

See you soon.

Climate Countdown Clock?

If you haven’t seen in the news, two artists, Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd reprogrammed New York’s Metronome clock in Manhattan. It now displays the amount of time we have left to act on climate change before it is too late.

Jeenah Moon for the New York Times

Last week, Saturday, September 20th, a message flashed across the screen that read “The Earth has a deadline”. We have roughly seven years to act, according to the countdown clock, which is based on numbers by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change. The goal of the project was to engage people who might not always think about climate change and the implications a warming planet has on our future. 

Because today is the last day of the installation in Union Square, I thought it was a good idea to take a closer look at this shocking piece of art.

While most people who recognize the irreversible effects of climate change were in support of the climate countdown clock, I have seen a few arguments against it. The critics say that it induces crippling eco-anxiety.

Eco-anxiety is a relatively new term that came about as more and more people began reporting anxiety, stress, or depression about the future of the climate. The American Psychological Association defines it as “a chronic fear of environmental doom.” Eco-anxiety is not a clinical disorder, but it can be a healthy response to the problem that is the climate crisis, Ciara Nugent discovered.

The arguments against the climate countdown clock say that we should avoid spreading eco-anxiety as it solely impacts low-income communities.

I think it is incredibly important to remember that the effects of the climate crisis disproportionately affect low income and marginalized communities. However, as Ciara Nugent found, I think eco-anxiety is a necessity. The countdown clock is placed in a very affluent area to target wealthier individuals who do not face the ill effects of climate change daily. It aims to bring awareness to the fact that this is a problem that equalizes us. We need to act together.

The critique of the project brings up another point that reminds us that 71% of all emissions are from 100 corporations. I recognize that individual action will never be enough; however, I disagree when the argument says that targeting individuals only induces eco-anxiety. While personal action may not have the desired impact on the climate, public lobbying to lawmakers is impactful. Once lawmakers are aware of the concerns of their constituents, they are more likely to vote in favor of or against certain issues. And if they don’t, we vote them out.

(Template for a sample letter to your lawmakers)

I don’t have all the answers. But I do know that the more people get involved in climate change and politics, the better. If protecting the planet doesn’t motivate you, then maybe protecting yourself will. The longer we wait and refuse to act, the more natural disasters will occur and the more diseases will spread. Be worried, be scared, but let that encourage you to act. Inaction’s only result is the end of the world as we know it.

References/Further Reading:

https://time.com/5735388/climate-change-eco-anxiety/

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/20/arts/design/climate-clock-metronome-nyc.html

https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2017/03/climate-mental-health

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/b2e7ee32-ad28-4ec4-89aa-a8b8c98f95a5/

(Have a thought? Leave a comment! I would love to start a dialogue about your thoughts on the climate change countdown.)

I think introductions are in order…

Hello!

Hi and welcome to my new blog! 

I’ve always considered starting a blog, and my mom has always wanted me to do it. So, I indulged her, listened to some advice from friends, and decided to jump right in.

My name is Emily. I am midwest born and raised, aside from a small stint in South Carolina my freshman year of college and a few years on the West Coast, and I am currently living in Chicago. I am an undergraduate at Loyola University Chicago in my junior year, studying Environmental Studies and double minoring in Political Science and Global & International Studies. Environmental studies, for those who are unfamiliar, “combines a solid base of courses in the natural sciences with course work in the social sciences to prepare students for careers in government, business, education, non-profit organizations or the media. These students have strong interests in environmental policies; the relationships of those policies to local, national and international politics; issues of environmental ethics & advocacy; social change and its relationship to social justice; the history of human interaction with the environment; and the portrayal of nature in art and literature, ” according to the Institute of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola

Usually, after people ask what my major means, they ask, “Well, what do you want to do with that?” Well, I want to go into Global Health. No, not pandemic management, though we do desperately need that. I want to work with climate migrants in less developed nations. Climate migrants are people who are displaced because of the disastrous effects of the climate crisis. They are forced to leave their homes and migrate to urban centers. These urban centers become completely overpopulated. Diseases runs ramped as they do not have the infrastructure needed to control the outbreaks. I want to implement environmentally friendly public health programs to help curb these issues.

Lofty and specific goals, I know. 

This blog is a place I am going to document my journey into global health and the next phases of my education, but it will also be a place for me to document things happening in my life and to share what comes next.