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How Concerned About Climate Change Are You?

SNC students weigh in on the world around us

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How Concerned About Climate Change Are You?

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Thirteen federal agencies came together to release a report on Nov. 23, Black Friday, discussing America’s desperate need for change. The report, simply titled “The National Climate Assessment,” was made public by the White House, had clear and concise scientific evidence that climate change is not only real, but an impending problem for the United States. The findings of the report also show President Trump’s agenda for environmental deregulation.

This report is not shocking to most. Residence all over the U.S. have seen the turmoil of climate change. States like Florida are being stuck with strong tropical storms, like Hurricanes Florence and Michael, and the rest of the states aren’t immune to the disastrous changes in weather. The west coast has been in a drought cycle, resulting in monstrous wildfires. The report also discusses the South’s crumbling infrastructure and the crop failures in the Midwest.

The report read at 1,656 pages long, and highlights the negative impacts of the climate change on the economy, as well as the health of the environment. It suggests that American exports and supply chains could be disrupted, as agricultural yields could fall and fire season could spread to the Southeast.

Residents of the Tahoe Basin have a keen understanding about climate change. This time last year, Truckee pledged to go 100 percent renewable by the year 2050. Truckee’s renewable energy plan also intends to have city-wide renewable energy by 2030.

With around 3 million visitors each year,  Lake Tahoe tourists are seeing the negative impacts of climate change on the lake and forests.

Residents of Truckee, and the Tahoe Basin, see the effects of the changing climate with lack of snow resulting in low lake levels, or vice-versa.

For some, climate change means a little bit more. Senior Eva Jazbec is a double major in biology and environmental science. She is a competitive skier for Sierra Nevada College, and genuinely believes climate change is something we need to look at seriously.

“[Climate Change] affects our temperature and precipitation patterns, and is therefore responsible for the crazy amounts of snow (like the winter 2 years ago), or the lack of snow that we receive,” said Jazbec.

“As a ski racer, both extremes affect me directly,” Jazbec said. I am also a big fan of the summer days, and beautiful hikes. Sadly, a lot of them weren’t as enjoyable as I hoped this year, because of all the fires surrounding us, bringing the smoke to the Tahoe Basin.”

Junior Lance Langhals grew up in Santa Rosa, Calif., and previously attended college in the Chico area.  He saw the direct effect of climate change in October 2016, and continues to see it.

“My hometown community was shocked and devastated,” Langhals said. I had countless friends that lost all of their childhood memories to the blaze. The fire came only a quarter mile from my house. I almost felt guilty that my house survived while most lost everything.”

“Just recently with the Paradise was struck with a blaze, but even worse,” Langhals said. “Students, teachers, and many others of the Chico community lost everything. 88 deaths have been discovered since the fire started. You really get to see how this brings a community together when hard times like this come around.”

Langhals stays aware of the environment around him, and tries to find ways to be more sustainable. He encourages people to do the same, in hopes that he won’t have to see another wildfire.

Senior Jaime Edwards also grew up in San Carlos, Calif., and has laid witness to the devastating wildfires.

“It’s definitely interesting living in Tahoe where everything is so vibrant and beautiful, and sometimes I feel like it blinds me to what’s actually happening around us,” Edwards said. “With these destructive fires burning all around California for the past few years, it has definitely worried me about our future.”

“I think my default mode of operation is ‘Oh I’m just one person, what can I really do?’ But I’m making an effort to change that. I need to take the beauty that surrounds me in Tahoe and use that as a motivation to change my own habits and try to protect what is around me.”

The climate as we know it is forever changed. The report concludes with the statement: “The assumption that current and future climate conditions will resemble the recent past is no longer valid.”

Although many individuals want to make changes, it will be challenging as the damage is already done. The report suggests that the main variable that individual consumers can change is their amount of carbon emission.

To read the climate report in full, visit: globalchange.gov/report

 

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How Concerned About Climate Change Are You?