By Emily Stamper
It is common at Colorado College to see students reducing their carbon footprint in small and numerous ways. In Ben Khaghani and Ethan Hall’s eight-person, three story apartment on East campus, you will find a compost bin under the table that holds their homegrown sprouts, more skateboards than people and that arc Thrift Store is the most popular shopping destination from clothes to spoons to artwork.
Both Khaghani and Hall are juniors from small towns in Massachusetts, and weren’t exposed to environmentalism and climate change before attending Colorado College.
“I’m not familiar with the negative effects of climate change,” Khaghani said, “I will die before it ever gets bad.”
Hall grew up with a father who, to this day, does not believe in climate change. “I can’t invalidate people’s opinions on climate change because I understand and respect my father’s opinions,” Hall said.
However, unlike his father and Khaghani, Hall is very aware of climate change and has little hope for the future.
Hall believes that we have “outgrown our shoes” and the only way humans could potentially have a happy and healthy future is to put a limit on the human population. “We need to live in a world where not abortion is illegal. Where you need to apply to have a child,” Hall said, not really joking. He doesn’t know how we could do it morally, but he sees no other solution. The human population is too great to make any real difference, and it is only rising. He doesn’t think we are quite at our maximum population yet, but it won’t be long.
Hall does not have hope for the future. He certainly feels solastalgia, distress caused by climate change, but doesn’t like the exclusivity of the term, deeming it too “academic”. Knowing our world as we know it won’t last long, Hall believes we should enjoy the “now” as best we can.
Khaghani, on the other hand, doesn’t feel solastalgia and does have hope for the future because he sees no other option. He refuses to feel overwhelmed or sad about the changing environment.
“Human ingenuity will beat climate change. I believe that because I don’t want to believe in anything else,” Khaghani said.
What Hall and Khaghani do agree on is that the condition of our world today was inevitable.
Hall takes a more spiritual approach to the issue stating, “I have free will, but free will as a whole doesn’t really exist. Humanity was going to go this way from the start.” He believes humanity was doomed from the getgo and this is all part of the master plan.
Khaghani thinks that the state of the world today is because humans are inherently selfish and that will never change. Humans think about themselves and making themselves happy and healthy rather than thinking about the effect of that ten years down the road, Khaghani said.
“Why would a taxi driver care about the environment when he has to take care of his family,” Khaghani questioned.
Khaghani and Hall know that we are here for a reason and climate change was bound to happen, and we can either ride it out or pretend it isn’t happening.