Staff Editorial: Our vision for 2020

Welcome back to Guilford for the spring semester! We’ve at last landed in a new decade. It feels like change is on the horizon, doesn’t it?

2020 seems to be bound for big, new developments. The 2020 presidential election is getting ever-closer, and the discourse surrounding it becomes more intense and confusing by the hour. Politically, it seems like the nation is simultaneously very weary and heated like never before.

Heated. Now that’s an important word for this era, isn’t it? The week of Jan. 12 in Greensboro saw temperatures as high as 72 degrees. Yeah, it’s the spring semester, but we weren’t expecting spring to begin quite this early. Climate change is a topic that we’ve been aware of for years, and the lack of action our nation is taking to combat it is infuriating. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, 2020 is a vital year for the battle against climate change. Climate scientists warn that if we want to undo the worst possible outcomes of climate change, 2020 must be the year of “coordinated, comprehensive climate action.” The future we’re writing seems like it could be grim.

The people who will bear the effects of climate change will disproportionately be working class and minorities. According to an article by Scientific American, African Americans living in Los Angeles are almost twice as likely to die during a heatwave than other Los Angeles inhabitants, segregated in the city’s “heat island” where temperatures are magnified by asphalt and concrete with little access to air conditioning.

And yet, even the gravest threat to our existence on this planet falls to the periphery. There is so much bombarding us, all the time. 24/7 news broadcasts, social media, the onslaught of school, the spiral of your social life. Things are busier than ever, and it feels as if we’re helpless to stem the tide of destruction around us.

So what do we do?

We do not close our eyes and shut out the world. Yes, the flow of events and news can be overwhelming. You don’t have to care about everything; choose the battles that matter. But to ignore politics and climate change is something we cannot afford to do. Community is a vital Quaker value; not staying aware and being mindful of these matters is doing the a disservice.

At The Guilfordian, we’re recommitting ourselves to standing up and speaking out for our community members. Consider it our New Year’s Resolution: we’ll be covering the events that affect our world, nation and local community the most.

Editor’s note: This editorial originally was published in Volume 106, Issue 9 of The Guilfordian on Jan. 24, 2020.