It’s no secret that Climate Change has been a burning issue for quite sometime, but it is much more prevalent in certain areas, like Beijing for example. Though I have become somewhat use to the heat in Beijing, 110 degrees every single day is pretty excessive. Everyone in the program is coping by blasting their A/C and drinking LOTS of water, but this is something all of us will be able to escape once the program is over. I cannot help but think about the 1.3 billion people in China who will never be able to escape it.
One of the things I’ve noticed is that everywhere you go, there are tons of adorable babies, even on the college campus. That moment of joy is short-lived when I realized that in 50 years, these babies will no longer be able to live in Beijing due to the uninhabitable temperatures that have been predicted.
That being said, one of the things I have learned the most outside of class is how to be more sustainable. It seems most people make an effort to conserve as much energy and water as possible. They have limits on water and electricity use in the dorm which forces you to become aware of how much energy you’re using. However, because the northwestern program is allotted unlimited electricity and water, it made me realize how wasteful everyone truly is. Some people in the program would leave their A/C on all day just so that their room would be cold when they get back. The room takes only a few minutes to get cold once the air is turned on so this behavior is truly unnecessary.
We are here on a public health program and the least we can do is try to preserve energy for the general health of the public in China, so that, in 50 years, people may still be able to live here.