Sammy Hallal | Torrey Pines High School Senior
Climate change poses a major threat to the nation as well as the rest of the world. A large contributor to our changing climate is carbon emission which leads to higher global temperatures. We have already begun to see the effects of climate change here at home in the past months, whether it was Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria or the devastating wildfires that struck here in California, and unless we start to reduce our carbon footprints this will only get worse.
It is important to remember that we all share one common home and that climate change will affect all of us. Steps to reduce our carbon footprints must be taken by all people, starting with the young generation first since we will be most affected by it.
“Some of the personal changes I have made [to reduce my carbon footprint] include reducing my intake of animal products…, being conscious about buying things with palm oil, plastic and fossil fuels and trying to educate others,” Kiana, a student at Torrey Pines High School said.
Kiana is the president of Go Green Club, a group of Torrey Pines students who do volunteer work to help the environment, and also founded a website called ClimateTalk that teaches people easy ways to “care for our planet.” https://climatetalkusa.wixsite.com/mysite While Kiana and others may be aware of carbon emissions and the threat that global warming presents, there are still some who don’t really care.
“I have not seen enough evidence to show that climate change is connected to human actions,” Jack, a student at Cathedral Catholic High School said. “There is no denying that our climate is hanging, but it has changed before and this won’t be the last time it does.”
Although approximately 97 percent of climate scientists agree that human-caused global warming is happening and is a serious threat, there are still some who deny its existence entirely. Nationally, about 70 percent of people think climate change is happening and 75 percent support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant, according to the Yale Program on Climate Communication. The study also showed, however, that Americans all around, including here in San Diego, strongly believe that climate change will not directly affect them, which is where the problem lies.
“We live in a bit of a bubble. Climate change poses threats to all of us, but not very significantly where we live in Southern California,” Kirsten, a student at Torrey Pines High School said. “That is why I think we don’t see many people paying here paying attention to their carbon footprints and stuff like that. There isn’t much motivation.”
Here in San Diego lawmakers have called for a cutting carbon emissions in half by 2035, a goal they currently seem to be on track towards reaching. While many teenagers and adults may be conscious of their carbon footprint and have taken steps to reduce it, there are still some who could go a step further.