By: Angelina Miller and Ryan Brong
Imagine a world where the temperature is expected to rise 0.5 to 8.6 degrees fahrenheit over an upcoming period of ten decades. Take in the fact that simple human decisions such as wasting food, abusing electricity and drinking from plastic water bottles are one of the main causes of that gradual increase in heat.
That domino effect actually influences the present and future of our world today; it is most popularly known as climate change.
Since the mid to late 1800’s, there has been a layer of carbon dioxide gas in our Earth’s atmosphere. Over the past two centuries, that level has been steadily increasing due to what we know as a greenhouse effect. While the greenhouse effect was once only linked to natural causes, research from the mid-20th century has shown that human activities are the dominant cause of climate changes and the warming of our planet today.
When discussing the topic of climate change, Dr. Emily Basile, an assistant biology professor at Cabrini University, said, “It’s hard to think of one person changing the way they live and making a difference. But, it can be contagious.” Students at Cabrini are not only immersed in knowledge of social justice issues, but are also walking examples of how a spark can start a fire.
Take Katie Briante for example, a junior digital communications major with a social justice minor at Cabrini University. Briante has been an advocate for how contagious change can be, specifically with social justice issues. Although she was not exposed to social justice prior to Cabrini, the opportunities she has had at the university have taken her passion of making difference in the world to another level.
By joining Catholic Relief Services during her her freshman year, Briante had her eyes opened to things that lead her to change her life forever. The organization exposed her to new aspects of issues in the world around her, with faces that brought what she was learning about to life. Briante has now made advocating for social justice a monumental part of her life. Over the past few years she has lobbied in Washington DC, written letters to congress and assisted in conducting social justice related simulations. She now continues to advocate daily by leading underclassmen as an officer for Cabrini’s chapter of CRS.