The disaster relief specials for Hurricane Harvey haven’t even aired yet and Hurricane Irma is lining up on Florida. And while we should remember that any individual extreme event is, of course, not evidence of climate change (just as a particularly frigid winter in Winnipeg isn’t evidence against it), the number of times that I’ve had to remember that point can be.
I have a hobby of keeping track of the type of arguments those who are against people doing anything about climate change (I call them “inactivists”) are putting forward. Lately, the bulk of those arguments have been shifting from the idea that it’s just some sort of grand conspiracy of climatologists to the argument that while climate change is happening, it’s nothing to do with us. I’ve even seen a few starting to bring forward the view that even if it is us, humanity will be able to adapt. It’s what we’ve always done, after all.
Someone probably said the same thing on Easter Island.
Often, if you can manage to get into a civil debate with an inactivist, and can carry it long enough, you’ll find out that the bottom of their disagreement has nothing to do with whether climate change exists or not. It’s often more to do with the idea that there is something that needs to be solved which is insoluble by the individual or the free market, and will require coercive action on the part of the government to create the widespread change that is needed to address the problem. The idea that leaving it to the individual will allow the problem to proceed to the point where it’s completely insoluble before the worst of its effects have come to pass isn’t something that fits well within the free market mindset.
However, if these extreme weather events keep happening, if the “once in a century” events keep recurring every few years, I expect it won’t be too long before the arguments will shift to “Well, we took too long to do anything, so now there’s no point in doing anything at all, live it up while we can.”
While I don’t agree with that point of view either, it’s with it in mind that I bring you this week’s issue of The Voice Magazine. Our feature article this week is with single mother and psychology student, Elizabeth Eckert. Her story of how she manages her AU courses, four children including one with significant disabilities, speaks to the idea that we, as individuals, really can handle anything thrown at us.
We also have an interview with AUSU’s fourth Executive Director in three years, Jodi Campbell. He tells us about his background with the Student’s Association of MacEwan University, and his ongoing involvement with them in the form of their competitive golf teams. And he talks a bit about what he’s doing here at AUSU as well.
Then, in the spirt if of living it up, I always like to point out articles that have given me a laugh. And this week, Wanda Waterman gives us the second part of Surviving in the Garrett. A look at ways that enterprising students can save money by taking up the bohemian lifestyle, and gives tips to help students save even more money while doing so.
We also look at what students should take from professor ratings to musings from the Fly o the Wall as to how we can help non-AU students understand just what going to AU is like. And of course our regular selection of advice (whether on school, fitness, life, or jobs), AU events, scholarships, food related, news and just some interesting tidbits to keep you busy and connected with what’s going through the minds of the AU community. Enjoy the read!