Most recently, the environment has been on the front page of major newspapers around the country; its changes have earned significant uninterrupted time on the television, the radio, the internet, and in daily conversation. Such coverage reinforces the urgency of numerous environmental issues, and one must ask if we will heed these climate warnings.

A sampling of the week: The EPA was ordered by the Supreme Court to regulate greenhouse gases, islands in the South Pacific are sinking due to rising sea levels, The New York Times featured an article about the American southwest’s looming water crisis, The IPCC released the next portion of its report urging countries to take action to curb greenhouse gases in the near future to avoid catastrophic loss, and a small orphaned polar bear won the hearts of many in Berlin, Germany.

Even if you are not completely convinced that climate change is a direct result of human actions, if there is any part of you that feels we can do something to help the countries and creatures that stand to lose the most from the changes we are observing, how can you not act? We are morally responsible to do so.

One of the largest errors we have made as a society is to perpetuate the belief that the only acceptable approaches to greenhouse gas and climate change management are those that do not alter our lifestyles. Those two issues (our lifestyles, and climate change) are in direct conflict with one another and our planet is sending us a clear message to reconfigure the ways in which we live. I am not suggesting total, dramatic, change. Rather, we need to be open to changing the ways in which we consume resources in our societies in order to succeed in our one world.