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We Must Take Action

We Must Take Action

WWU Students’ Opinions on Climate Change 

By Jessi Vietz 

No matter what you think about climate change, its impact reaches everyone. Questions, concerns, and testimonials can be seen in the media on a daily basis. The topic of our ecosystem finds its way into many conversations.  

Juliana Conrad, sophomore psychology major, believes that humans are huge contributors to climate change because “they are consistently doing things they know to be bad for the environment out of habit. For example, although not everyone is to blame for manufacturing goods that are burning fossil fuels, they are supporting the industry by using those goods.” [1] 

Juliana Conrad in an archway of plants.
Individual impact, while smaller than larger-scale changes, can still make a difference in how we care for our environment. Photo of Juliana Conrad by Juliana Conrad, accessed 5/4/22.

When it comes to policy makers, Conrad said, “I think that policy makers should enforce change by creating harsher regulations for big industries, and significant but not necessarily drastic changes for everyday people to take part in. I don’t think they’re doing enough now, but I do think they’re on the right track by spreading awareness about the issue.” [2] 

Conrad does not feel personally affected by climate change, but she does worry about its impact on future generations as well as how it will and has affected animals: she said that it is awful to see how they have suffered because of climate change. [3] 

Bryce Haloviak, sophomore nursing major, stated that humans have a profound impact on climate change: “The most evident of these impacts is through air pollution. While we have seen that the earth has gone through many changes throughout its existence, there have been numerous indicators of the extent of human involvement through increased emissions, statistically proven higher global temperatures, and the rising of sea levels as a result.” [4] 

Bryce Haloviak in front of a snowy mountain and body of water, holding a camera.
Glaciers, clean air, and clear skies at night are great forces of nature that we are slowly loosing to climate changes. Photo of Bryce Haloviak by Bryce Haloviak, accessed 5/4/22.

He acknowledged that it is hard to find a global solution that won’t break the bank, and the U.S. must walk a fine line between implementing changes and not taking away freedoms: “International agreements would likely achieve the most in combatting climate change, but how to go about that successfully whilst maintaining the freedoms and rights of the people of each nation, or without having a profound effect on the international economy, is where it gets tricky.” [5] 

Haloviak does not feel personally affected by climate change but saw its evidence through his own research on the topic: “For example, when finding outdoor activities to do on the weekend, I will frequently come upon articles pertaining to glacial condition in the PNW and have found that there have been significant decreases in glacial prevalence in the western part of our nation.” [6] 

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Molly Moore, senior elementary education major, recognized that by not carpooling, people are using more gas and contributing to climate change: “Voting for politicians who don’t take action against climate change and by supporting companies that fund fossil fuel expansion are other ways we contribute to climate change.” [7] 

Molly Moore standing on a bridge above a canal.
Moore suggested that we can’t put climate change on the back of our minds. We need to take action. Photo of Molly Moore by Molly Moore, accessed 5/4/22.

Moore believes that some of the best things policymakers could do are to defund fossil fuel expansion and deforestation. Moore stated, “Politicians and people in power are not doing enough.” [8] 

Moore does feel personally affected by climate change as a human that lives on and cares about this planet: “Climate change is not something we can just push to the back of our brains anymore. It is real. We must take action.” [9] 

References 

  1. Interview with Juliana Conrad, 5/2/22. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Interview with Bryce Haloviak, 5/3/22. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Interview with Molly Moore, 5/2/22. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Ibid. 
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