I can’t remember when I had my first seizure, but it must’ve been at least eight years ago. I’m sure it happened like most of them — a few seconds of confusion, a sprinkle of vision loss, shaking arms and that signature, distant look my friends have since come to recognize. It started as a curiosity, something to be experimented with, often by standing up suddenly to see if I could trigger one, whatever they were. It was easy to dismiss them in high school as a strange quirk springing to life a dozen times a year: odd, but nothing to worry about. The arrogance of a young man was enough to protect me, I was sure of it.
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As the environmentalist movement reaches previously unseen heights and ever more urgent updates on climate change continue to populate major news outlets, the looming question remains: What is standing in the way of climate reform? The answer will not surprise many who follow politics: congressional corruption, especially on the right.
Perusing through stores like H&M and Forever 21, it’s difficult not to be struck by how affordable clothing has become and to wonder how clothing companies, especially those known as fast-fashion brands, can peddle clothing so cheaply. Most people are aware of the textile industry’s connections to child labor and worker exploitation in developing nations, but it is also important to address the industry’s heavy contribution to our worsening environmental crisis.
As cannabis legalization continues its march across the country and investment in legal cannabis continues to grow, many previously veiled aspects of cannabis cultivation have come to light, including a surprisingly damaging environmental cost. High water and energy usage, pesticides and fertilizer poisoning, degradation of public lands and potential ozone effects have all been linked to cannabis cultivation.
The global population is rapidly approaching eight billion people. This growth necessitates increases in food production, resource extraction and overall consumption, putting a strain on remaining wildlife habitat. Oftentimes, our most precious refuges of biodiversity are left to the protection of impoverished local communities, raising the question: Who should bear the burdens of conservation efforts? Who should reap the benefits: locals or predominantly western conservationists?
Country clubs have long been criticized for their elitism and exclusivity; in light of our planet’s environmental crisis, I would argue that they are also damningly wasteful, both in terms of resources consumed and environmental impact.
As the climate crisis worsens and veganism gains momentum, our dietary habits, especially regarding meat and other animal products, have come under scrutiny for their role in aggravating global warming and leading to the inhumane mistreatment of livestock. However, the issue is not as clear-cut as many activists would have you believe.
A childhood trip to the zoo feels as quintessential as chocolate chip pancakes or bouncy castles, but the ethics of dolphins in tanks has always been questionable, and the debate has resurfaced in the aftermath of the pandemic television sensation “Tiger King” (2020–). Every zoo or aquarium fights back with token conservation programs, raising the question: "Does the conservation work done by zoos and aquariums justify the fate of their inhabitants?" In today’s world, the answer is an unfortunate “yes.”