Olivia Cattabriga / Art Director

Erin McNemar

Managing Executive Editor

With more severe storms, extreme temperatures and sea levels rising, climate change has become a hot political topic.

On Wednesday, September 5, CNN hosted a seven hour Climate Change Townhall event. Ten Democratic Presidential Candidates were given 40 minutes each to speak about climate change and their plans to tackle the issue. Climate change is different from other political topics because it has the ability to impact everyone. Some Keene State College students have expressed concerns about the phenomenon.

“I strongly believe climate change is threatening our existence. With climate change comes irreversible consequences such as the diminishing of glaciers, intensification of storms and a shift in ecological niches,” Junior Chloe Labrie said. “All of these will heavily impact the life we have grown accustomed to and change how we have to live. We are making the Earth a less viable planet for life and if we don’t act now, we are going to leave behind a planet in crisis for the next generations.”

Within the past couple years, students explained they have began to notice some of the effects of climate change happening in their own areas. Dietetic Intern Gabrielle Cabacab said, “In the Northeast, we are experiencing temperatures that are so high we aren’t even experiencing spring time anymore. It really just goes from summer to winter back to summer again. That does affect the quality of life in the end.”

According to a report released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), humans only have 12 years left to save the Earth from climate change catastrophe. Without the help of politicians passing environmental legislation, it’s difficult to make an impact. Part of the frustration according to senior Shane Horsman is some politicians still don’t believe climate change is real. “There is just so much evidence that it’s real and happening. We need to fix everything that is contributing to climate change,” Horsman said.

Due to the timeline released by the IPCC, Labrie and Cabacab both said they worry about the future. “I’ve reconsidered having children in the future because I would feel guilty bringing children into a world that’s only on its way to ecological collapse,” Labrie said.

Similar to Labrie, Cabacab said she is concerned about the future generations as well. “I have three nieces and it (climate change) makes me worried about how they are going to live their future. Is this world still going to be around by the time they reach our age? So much can happen in so little time, and it makes me scared what’s going to happen with them when they get older,” Cabacab said.

According to the students, something has to change because the way humans are living is not sustainable. Horsman said he wants environmental policies passed that combat climate change. “I would like to see something put in place that prevents people from taking advantage of the environment and causing damage to it,” Horsman said.

Labrie, who is also a member of the New Hampshire Youth Movement, also called for government actions, specifically The Green New Deal. “If the Green New Deal is passed, we would be taking a giant leap in the right direction. Not only does the GND take actions to lessen our impact in the progression of climate change, it also greatly improves the quality of life for Americans through job creation and bumping up the national minimum wage,” Labrie said.

Until new legislative is passed, the students said they will be taking steps on their own by recycling, reducing their single-use plastic and using reusable products. “I want people to realize that the Earth has given us so much and were not giving anything back to her. In the end, Earth can survive without us, but we can’t survive without the Earth,” Cabacab said.

Erin McNemar can be contacted at emcnemar@kscequinox.com

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