Note: Opinions expressed in commentary on KCAW are those of the author, and are not necessarily shared by KCAW’s board, staff, or volunteers.

Hello, my name is Abbie Fish I work with SCS as an intern and I am also involved in YSF 

For me, climate change is an issue that needs to be addressed due to the fact that I and everyone have one reason or another for holding value in the land. Not only is the land important as a source of income for people but it also holds a highly valued spiritual connection for many. For example, I have learned that this is the land in which Lingít people have lived on and have identified as their home for time immemorial. So much of the natural resources people use for subsistence requires a healthy eco-system. Another reason would be the diversity of life that Alaska’s lands and oceans hold for many different species. Everything is so intertwined and dependent on the land and ocean for protection, food, income, and culture.

As an example, there was a lack of rainfall in 2018 resulting in the following summer of 2019 having the hottest and longest dry streak lasting more than a month. This resulted in low river levels, high fish death in the fall, and the yellow cedar to start dying from lack of root protection. All of these elements that Alaskan’s and Alaska’s animals depend on were depleted due to climate change. 

Also, as a Christian, I think it is very important that we care for the Earth as though it is our garden since we are the stewards of the planet. I believe it is our duty having been gifted the planet by God that we take care of his humble gift given to us.

In February there was an assembly meeting where we presented a resolution for members to declare a climate emergency, but it was voted down. I was disappointed to see that the resolution didn’t pass. I was confused as to why some assembly members digressed from the topic of climate change when this is an emergency. The responsibility is also on all of us, as citizens and stewards, to use our voice and reach out to our assembly, State, and government to voice what is important to us, and what action needs to be taken on climate change.