Climate Actions should reflect our Connectedness (Sophie W. - Nov '19)

Published in the Stevens County Times

I am from South Dakota, but you can't tell that by looking at me. Nothing about me
gives away the fact that I have to cross a mapped border to get to college, apart from my
disastrous knowledge of Minnesota geography (though in my defense, I'm also quite bad at
South Dakotan geography). I come from an area that’s either endless corn and soybeans or
endless winter, which isn’t so different from here.
As easy as it is for me to come up with similarities, I could also pretend I’m
extraordinarily far from home - I have to travel for hours or send by post to vote, my license
looks wildly out of place, and any Minnesotan acronyms go straight over my head (PSEO?
Even so, I’m concerned about climate actions in Morris, maybe even more so than in
my hometown. Why? Because I live here for most of the year. Though my SD zip code
suggests I exist in a numbered box, the winds knocking me off my feet in Morris show how
ineffective our human divisions and borders are. I have to drink the water here, which means
I have to be concerned with what is south and north of Morris. I have to breathe the air here,
which means I have to be concerned with what is west of Morris. And we pass on our air and
water and carbon dioxide and waste to people beyond us, be they north or south or east or
west. We are far more connected than we are different, and we have to share this planet.
Our climate actions need to reflect that.

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