We know that the scientific community is virtually unanimous in telling us that climate change is real, and we know that this is a defining issue that is affecting our generation. This Friday, Oct. 2, millennials on 70 college campuses across the country will participate in KNOW TOMORROW, the student-led movement that will serve as a milestone in history, as our nation’s youth unite to consolidate and amplify a message to inspire action on climate change. Driven by Cool Globes and The Climate Reality Project, our national day of action will be a significant demonstration of why the time to act is now, as we count down to the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France, this December.
COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, will be the latest in a long series of meetings since 1992 and a crucial one, with the goal of achieving a legally binding, international agreement on climate that keeps global warming below 2°C. Many are asserting that COP21 will be the last effective opportunity for the world to collaborate and take global-scale action before catastrophic consequences take effect. Our window of opportunity is increasingly getting smaller while the problems are exponentially growing larger.
Recently at USC, many students have been calling for our University to take action regarding environmental sustainability. Events, programs and initiatives on our campus have served as catalysts for change, but we must push harder to avoid the devastating impacts of climate change. The USC environmental community is banding together with the rest of the nation to make our voices heard as we create a better vision of tomorrow that we all want to see. It will be the singular campaign to demonstrate the energy and enthusiasm that America’s youth has regarding their future.
KNOW TOMORROW not only has the support of students, professors, faculty, organizations and activists, but also other prominent figures have weighed in to lend their support. Shepard Fairey designed posters for the campaign, and musical artists and celebrities — including Common, Train, Ian Somerhalder and Chris Evans — appeared in videos to promote the campaign. Environmental leaders such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and former Vice President Al Gore will be speaking on college campuses to help amplify our collective vision, and dozens of other celebrities will lend their help via social media.
This is neither the beginning nor the end. It’s not only a concern of yesterday, but a critical moment right now for a hopeful tomorrow. It is my hope that KNOW TOMORROW will continue to spark discussion and conversation regarding positive solutions for our future. The “Road to Paris” is growing shorter by each day, but the shared narrative formed by the ever-increasing community of people is also developing and progressing into a wonderful story that will soon be known to the world.
Join the chorus of voices and attend KNOW TOMORROW anytime between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. in McCarthy Quad, which will be transformed into a space where students can listen to an impressive roster of speakers, participate in engaging activities to learn about how they can impact climate change and spark further dialogue that will help call our country’s leaders to action at COP21. The USC day of action will start with an activity fair from 2 – 4:30 p.m., followed by a two-part speaker series from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. and again from 7-10 p.m.
Let’s be the generation that saves the world as we demand a better tomorrow. See you on Friday.
Event Director of KNOW TOMORROW