Olympics Highlight Climate Change

The opening ceremony at the Olympics can always be relied on to uniquely captivate a wide-scale global audience. From dancing to singing, and anything in between, there is typically something for everyone to enjoy.

This year, Rio made sure the message hit home. Everyone's home, in fact: planet earth. Brazil rolled a video showing the heat emergence over all countries, while also highlighting the melting ice. The message contrasted the ideas we associate with the Olympics, such as our global strength, individual nationality, and the pure celebration of athletics. However, despite the solemn tone, the issue of climate change connects directly to the Olympics. 

In the Olympics, we look to unite those from diverse backgrounds, to compete on an equal field. The one thing that we all share, despite our background, is that we are members of planet earth. No matter who wins or loses, at the end of the day we all call the same place home. Brazil chose to capitalize on the issue, while all eyes were watching. Brazil, one of the largest countries, has itself faced extreme heat spikes and deforestation, so it is fitting they were the country that chose to rely this message. 

Around the world, people had things to say about this climate change message. Some loved it, declaring that the video proved that no matter where you are from your "fates intertwined" on planet earth. 

That being said, the message did not sit well with everyone. Outraged with the feeling of blame, some people complained that Rio should fix their own dirty water, as it was them who polluted it in the first place. Some said that global warming was government fraud, something that never existed.

The question remains as to whether we should, as a global community, all take equal responsibility for what happens to the planet. Is it our job, in say the United States, to help Brazil, when they dirtied the water themselves? Or should our unique human experience, our tie to mother nature, be a reason enough to pitch in to stop global warming?

Date Published: 

Friday, August 5, 2016