Profile: Akash Pandya
Climate change is a topic that causes great debate on whether it is a true problem or not. It is very difficult to understand the negative effect humans have on the environment until one personally sees it themselves. In my view, if the world does not join together to combat rising temperatures, sea levels, etc.. we may not have the time on this earth to finish this debate altogether.
Around 4 years ago, my family and I went to India. Although the country has a rich cultural heritage, it unfortunately also has very poor air quality due in part to the amount of fossil fuels being emitted into the atmosphere. From the minute I walked out of Ahmedabad Airport, I could smell a stench in the air that irritated my nostrils. This stench would continue to displease me throughout my trip. Furthermore, my vision was obscured at times due to the high frequency of dust in the air. For me, just staying outside for a couple of hours could result in an itchy throat or burning eyes. I was astonished to see that the homeless were forced to breathe this air constantly. At the time, I didn’t fully process that the residents could be damaging their health by simply breathing, something the human body naturally needs to do in order to survive. Throughout the trip, I observed the negative effects of climate change on the environment, particularly on those not fortunate enough to afford the means to combat it where they live.
I had a very different but related experience on a trip to Iceland last year. Being a country of immense natural beauty, I was surrounded by large structures of ice and glaciers that were clearly receding due to the increase of global temperatures. When my family and I went on a glacier walk, we observed over 500 feet of dry land that was once part of the glacier. I was informed by the guide that a significant portion of the glacier melts every year. This truly demonstrated the amount of environmental damage that can occur due to neglect.
When I heard about FXB Climate Advocates, I was eager to join because it fights for a cause that I believe in. I believe that it is everyone's responsibility to aid in bettering the climate in whatever way they can, no matter the scale of what they do.