Online tickets sales for United States Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to IU sold out within a minute after being posted online.
Kerry’s visit last Thursday was in celebration of the grand opening of the Global and International Studies Building this fall.
His speech was eloquent, inspiring and exactly what one would expect. Kerry outlined the progress made through U.S. foreign policy within the Obama administration. He highlighted key moments such as the Iran nuclear deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, fighting terrorist organizations, the refugee crisis, the U.S.-Israel relationship and climate change.
Whether you agree with our current foreign policy or you were participating in a miniscule protest outside the IU Auditorium last Thursday, Kerry’s underlying message was relevant to all of us.
We cannot afford to tune out.
He asked, “Would you rather spend the next 40 years complaining about the world or would you like to try to improve it?”
Essentially, it is our duty to be global citizens. Climate change is not a problem for future generations — it’s already reality. The refugee crisis is not an “over there” problem — it’s a worldwide issue affecting us all.
Kerry made it clear “there will be no end to the refugee crisis until there is an end to the conflict itself.”
And though we’ve already accomplished a lot, he said we must push for more change as Americans and, more importantly, as global citizens.
Whether you vote Republican or Democrat, support the Iran deal or not, we are all relevant actors — especially millennials.
We cannot keep our eyes closed, and we must no longer ignore worldwide issues simply because they are not an immediate or direct threat.
The current warming trend in our climate is increasing at an alarming rate, and you don’t need to be a scientist to have an opinion about climate change, Kerry said.
“There is no time for excuses.”
According to NASA, global sea level have risen about 17 centimeters in the last century. However, the rate in the last decade has nearly doubled. We are also facing rising global temperatures, warming oceans and diminishing ice sheets.
“We keep beating the hottest year,” said Kerry, referencing Brazil and California’s devastating droughts, rising sea levels and changes in temperatures affecting migration patterns.
The Editorial Board wishes to clarify that not all millennials are entirely ignorant to current world problems.
However, most of us who care about such issues were probably present at Kerry’s speech, while those scratching their heads wondering, “What’s with all the security by the auditorium today?” were not.
SGIS Founding Dean Lee Feinstein could not have put it more clearly: “In order to change the world, we must first seek to understand it.”
While we celebrate the opening of this beautiful new school we must remember why we’re all here.
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