Know Tomorrow fights climate change

By Robin Dean

In the early 2000s, Wendy Abrams had a rude awakening.

The environmentalist discovered an article in Time Magazine that predicted temperatures to rise between three and 11 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperatures indeed rose by 11 degrees, the effects could be catastrophic.

Normally, a phrase like this would frighten. But not for Abrams. That simple article catalyzed a campaign for a better future.

“Although it was not the most likely scenario, the fact that it was in the spectrum of possibility was just mind boggling to me,” Abrams said. “I went from being completely uninvolved to being obsessively involved.”

Since then, Abrams has been creating a campaign that the younger generation can understand: Know Tomorrow. This nationwide campaign hopes to unite students who are passionate about climate change and willing to help discover solutions.

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    “It’s a campaign to give a voice to millennials demanding action on climate change,” Abrams said. “I’m not creating campus activism that already exists; what I’m trying to do is synchronize it, because by synchronizing it, the voices are louder.”

    Toward the end of November, the 21st session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place in Paris. There, members of the United Nations and European Union hope to create an international agreement on climate change and global warming.

    But back on campus, Abrams’ campaign has decided to launch their initiative on October 2 through 60 different universities nationwide.

    “Regardless of what happens in Paris, I think that we should still have millennials keep fighting,” Abrams said. “I hope that October 2 is the day to say that this is the issue of your generation, you can shape your future, and we need to act now.”

    From 5K runs to lectures, students from each university will host unique events to help motivate others to join the fight against climate change.

    “This is all about the students,” Abrams said. “The students have decided what they wanted to do, and all I have been doing is creating a network for everybody.”

    This Friday, the University joins other participating schools to set the campaign in motion.

    Catherine Yee, sophomore in LAS, was given the opportunity to coordinate the event on campus since as part of the Registered Student Organization, Students for Environmental Concerns.

    “Whenever I am asked what I want to do when I grow up, I always say that I just want to save the world,” Yee said. ”I just want a good future for everyone.”

    Yee said she believes that Know Tomorrow lets this generation become leaders on their campus and make an impact on a detrimental issue.

    “I think it is important that it is student-led and not just some old guy leading the herd,” Yee said. “It is kids our age that want to make a difference, that are going out and saying, ‘Climate change is real, and we need to do something about it.’”

    Lauren Boswell, sophomore in LAS and another event coordinator, said the campaign is powerful because the message is coming from other students.

    “(Know Tomorrow) has given us so much flexibility of how we could plan the event,” Boswell said. “I think that it works better when people within your own generation are telling you that this is something to worry about rather than some adult you don’t know.”

    With the event centered around “partying like there is Know Tomorrow,” SECS hopes to further inform students about climate change yet still offer an engaging experience for those who participate.

    “The first step to change is just making people aware that there needs to be a change implemented,” Boswell said. “You can’t make a difference in your daily lives if you don’t know that there is actually something wrong.”

    Students interested in participating should visit the quad this Friday from noon to 4 p.m., where there will be a live DJ, games, prizes and interactive activities.

    “This isn’t just about science; this is your life we are talking about,” Abrams said. “What do you know about tomorrow? What do you want your tomorrow to look like?”

    [email protected]