I recently attended an event at Loyola that focused on climate change and what we can do as Loyola students and inhibitors of the earth to make a change and keep our world from falling apart under our feet. The event was hosted by a Loyola professor who teaches a “Global Environment” course. She spoke about how afraid she was for the future and what the world will be like when her son grows up. She brought up the rising temperature and carbon dioxide levels and how the climate will never be normal again. It was quite daunting and made it difficult to not think about the world ending - all hope for future generations began to diminish in my mind. The host continued by asking a panel of climate change experts a few questions. They each shared their background on why they got involved in climate change and how it has affected their lives. They also spoke about what we can do to limit our carbon footprint and how we can work together to make Baltimore, and our world, a healthier place. It is hard to think positively while talking about the future of our world nowadays. It often seems as if there is nothing we can do to change the fact that we are destroying our earth and slowly killing ourselves. The vibe in the room during the majority of the event was fairly melancholy until one of the panelists said something along the lines of “this is not the time to lose hope”. She encouraged us to still continue to work for a more prosperous and cleaner world. There is something that everyone can do to change things, even if that something is small like recycling or abstaining from meat one day a week. She said now is not the time to be passive or mopey or to lose hope. If we want change we have to fight for it. Living in constant despair will lead us nowhere.
The first half of Twelfth Night reminded me a little about what I learned the night of the climate change event. I was reminded that losing hope and living in despair will lead to no good. When Sebastian and Viola think that each other are dead, they do not fully lose hope but instead proceed to search for each other in hope the other was still alive. If they decided to just mourn the loss of each other, then the entirety of the play would be very different. Viola would not get the crazy idea to dress up as Cesario and she would not have met Duke Orsino and would not have fallen in love with him. If Cesario (Viola) did not go to Olivia and try to make her fall in love with Duke Orsino, then Olivia would not realize that she can still feel love and doesn’t need to mourn the loss of her brother for years on end. Olivia begins to have hope that she will be able to be with Cesario. Malvolio begins to have hope that he will be able to be with Olivia. Viola (Cesario) begins to have hope that she may have a chance to be with Duke Orsino. I believe that Shakespeare is trying to portray that, even with sorrow and loss, there is still hope for a better future. Even though Olivia lost her father and her brother, after beginning to fall in love with Cesario, she starts to become optimistic about her future. Even though Viola and Sebastian think that each other is dead, they do not fully lose faith. Viola is still able to feel love for Duke Orsino. Overall, Shakespeare conveys through Twelfth Night the importance of keeping faith no matter the circumstances.
Overall, I enjoyed this event a lot. I could tell that the panelists were very passionate about what they were talking about and that they genuinely wanted to get everyone at least slightly interested and involved in sustainability and knowledgeable about climate change. My expectations for the event were exceeded and I would definitely recommend this event for someone in the future.