Today, the effects of climate change are as apparent as ever. In the last few months alone, there have been wildfires in Northern California, as well as several hurricanes affecting areas including, but not limited to, Texas, Puerto Rico, Florida and the Virgin Islands. These instances resulted in hundreds of casualties, as well as billions of dollars worth of damage.
Members of the Climate Action Club at SUNY New Paltz laid down in five body bags outside of the Humanities Building on campus on Monday, November 13 to draw attention to the problem. The stories of the “victims” were posted in front of their bodies for passing students to read. They were then encouraged to sign the “I pledge” sign, indicating what they were going to do to help stop climate change. Next to the body bags was a map with red string, connecting the countries that were most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Above the demonstration included a large banner stating, “Climate Change Casualties.”
“The goal of this demonstration is to show the community that people are dying from climate change each and every day,” said Nicholas Leone, president of the Climate Action Club. “These so-called ‘natural disasters’ aren’t as natural as we claim they are, and climate change is certainly intensifying these storms tremendously. This isn’t a future problem, this is a now problem.”
“When you put a face to an issue, it’s far easier to empathize with what’s going on,” said Leith Kusmider. “That is what we are trying to evoke out of the spectators.”