Washington University Students for International Collaboration on the Environment

Old News, No Change

David Yang (Washington University in St. Louis)

Hey I just wanted to introduce myself!  My name is David Yang and I am a sophomore at WashU.  I’m a Biomedical Engineering and International Area Studies Major.  I like sleeping whenever I can and eating cup ramen.  What I like even more is the feeling after tests where I am unconcerned with anything for a moment.  What I dislike is ice cream and chocolate really.  My dream is to work for the UN!

I’m a big fan of literature, but I write mostly freehand literature without form.  Anyways…


This is an old speech, but I think one of the main things we should focus on is how we can change the stance of nations so that individual nations take an initiative to do something about what has obviously been known for a pretty long time.  It’s great that we’re approaching the UN, but the UN is not the most effective international body (ex. Darfur).  This speech was delivered at the 2007 UN Climate Change Conference and…well maybe we should list the international changes that have occurred concerning environmental change…the effective ones.  I also say that we list the changes that have occurred within individual countries.

I believe that during this conference we should also suggest initiatives that students and adults can take to voice a concern for environmental issues.  An important concept that must be tackled is generating enthusiasm for the cause in the gray area of individuals who 1) believe that there are environmental issues but believe nothing can be done or they can’t do anything, 2) are unsure about their stance on environmental issues so they do nothing, or 3) are apathetic.

Some thoughts:

1) Start young, educate grade school students.  They will affect change in the future.

2) Make problems visible.  I’m not saying make them worse so they become apparent, but use effective advertising in effective places and have it become part of everyday life.  Stimulate the brains everyday concerning the environment.

How can you make the environment an issue that the Leader of a Country must take?  Obama had to face the BP Oil Spill, but we don’t want an environmental disaster to result in a leader taking action: we want a leader to take action to prevent environmental disasters.

Comments and thoughts welcome.




One response

  1. Karen

    I love how you think in terms of the ACTION we need to take. That is exactly the mission of WUSICE. Making problems visible is one of our greatest obstacles, and of course, one of the most crucial aspects we must address at the Conference.

    Sometimes it seems real change may require a complete paradigm shift in how we see the issue of climate change…

    October 23, 2010 at 9:58 am

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