If you’re a first- or second-year and still don’t know what to major in, try environmental studies. At least sit in on some talks by the pioneers in the field that the university has brought in. If you’re eager to make money and help the world, the environment will shed light on a new path for Americans in an attempt to show our world dominance once again.

Ever since the days of Manifest Destiny, Americans have been business-minded, but by doing so have left quite the ecological footprint. Unfortunately, things won’t continue this way, nor do most sensible countries carry that same mindset. Just like when the average American laborer lost his premium wage to competing over-worked and underage Chinese workers, we are now losing our edge and our premium spot in the world because most countries are moving faster then we are.

They do this by investing more in educating their people about environmental problems and the technology available to help lower carbon dioxide emissions. They are also moving faster because citizens in most countries are more environmentally conscious. While American college students are busy not declaring a major and singing that “I love college” song right before they take a handle pull, little poor Chinese and Indian kids are working their asses off in school to beat us by finding the technologies to save the world from the wrath of global climate change.

There’s a reason why your parents’ friends are killing an extra bottle of wine at the dinner table. There’s a reason why they’re telling you to manage your time better at school: the economy sucks and they know that we’re going to face hard times in a globalizing world once we graduate. We have been too focused on the American dream of college life, and the rest of the world is one step ahead of us.

I don’t know if most students at UCSB can see through the thick smoke of California’s finest, but it’s time to realize that we have to stop messing around. We need to pay more attention to the things happening outside of I.V. The world is moving quickly and poor kids in third-world countries are hopping on the Internet looking to find the next environmentally friendly business venture before you do.

And guess what? In the new world, the environment is going to start man-handling the economy because governments are going to make sure that every building and business is going green. Maybe you should have some knowledge on the subject! You should know that solving the climate problem and making cities sustainable will probably create the largest wave of new industries and jobs the world has seen in decades. I have lived in Europe and seen European college students recognize the environmental threats we are facing and begin to capitalize on opportunities it creates in a restructuring world. A lot of American college students still have to get on board, at least taking note of the opportunities breathing down our necks along with the world outside I.V.

If you’re smart about it, you will apply knowledge of the environment to your business tendencies and, before you know it, America will be back on top and we won’t have to bail out major companies. This opinion is meant solely to encourage UCSB students to embrace the globalization mindset so that we may help the world cope with changes to the environment. There are lots of opportunities to educate yourself on this stuff but you first have to recognize that it’s there.