With activists like Greta Thunberg gaining popularity and warning the population about the potential dangers of the climate crisis, the environment is becoming a pretty “hot” topic. Haha, get it? Because (according to NASA) global temperatures have steadily increased since the Industrial Revolution.
Seventy-eight percent of the 50 students polled voted that students at the school are not environmentally conscious. When asked why, the most common response was that students simply do not care and remain indifferent towards the subject.
Students agree they are ill informed about what is happening regarding the environment. And many students have varied views on the subject of climate change. While some students believe climate change is man-made, others believe it is cyclical.
Junior Juna Decker sees people getting much of their information from the internet.
“I think that a lot of times it’s false information or bias because political views have a lot to do with that kind of stuff,” Decker said. “I’m not saying one is right and one is wrong, but not everyone gets it from a reliable source.”
Junior Josh Lucier expands on the topic.
“Most people aren’t educated, and that’s on both sides,” he said. “It’s because they don’t care enough. I think they don’t care enough to do their own research, and they just get spoon fed arguments from both sides. They don’t actually look into stuff.”
Students have varied opinions on the topic of climate change and what exactly the cause is.
Senior Dalton Frank believes climate change is natural.
“I feel like living in America you’re inherently environmentally conscious,” he said. “We’re not doing as much as everybody says. We’re probably making a little dent. America is not as bad as people think. Less than 1 percent of the products hurrying up climate change are from us. It’s from China.”
Frank said he gets his information from reading online articles.
He goes on to say, “The world doesn’t seem like it’s getting any warmer or colder, and the species and ecosystems are flourishing rather than receding. The world goes through cycles.”
On the opposing side, Decker thinks humans are a primary cause of climate change.
“I think humans are the main cause of climate change because of all the pollution and waste we create,” he said.
There are some students who show avid interest in the environment. Senior Carlos Lundback is planning to pursue environmental studies in college.
“I think we can probably improve just a little bit more, but I think we do a pretty good job with the paper and the bottle recycling,” he said.
Lundback stresses the importance of educating students on the topic.
“I think it is important for people to get informed, just because, you know, we’re living on Earth,” he said. “We should preserve nature and make sure the environment is OK. Because not only is this a big part of the animals’ lives, but it’s part of our lives.”
To an extent the school is environmentally conscious. Students do their part by recycling paper and plastic. But the real problem is students are not informed and don’t care to be.
However, Earth Science teacher Heather Cox teaches her students about human sustainability and the impacts of human activities on natural systems as part of the Next Generation Science Standards. As part of the curriculum, students learn about the causes of global warming and humans’ impact on the climate.
“Students still don’t want to believe that humans could have produced enough CO2 to cause the damage,” Cox said. “That’s probably where the difficult part is. But people totally agree with climate changes, we talked about evolution. Yeah, that’s not a problem. It’s just then, how we are causing it. People like to think there’s got to be something else. But not with the data that we have. So I would hope they would be more informed [after taking Earth Science].”
Senior Jace Conlin said we need to take action.
“Instead of just telling people to change, go out and actually do things for change,” he said. “You know, there are companies that take donations to take plastic out of the water, and that’s good.”