Student Opinion: Now That We’ve Established That Our Earth is Suffering…What Can We Do?

By Gisselle Zaragoza

Through years of careless inaction and the constant denial of climate change, we have lost significant time proving to be vital in the attempt to reverse the effects of climate change. According to an article written by Herring and Lindsey, we have a limited amount of time to implement hard action to at least begin to subside the effects of climate change. We have discovered the leading causes of climate change, such as burning gas, coal or deforestation. We have established what is happening and why, but where do we go from here? 

The obvious fact is the average citizen is not to blame for climate change or the lack of respect for the environment. When twenty companies account for over a third of carbon emissions produced, we get an idea of where to tackle the problem. While that’s being mishandled amongst the government and said companies, people worldwide are left to take matters into their own hands. 

Our lifestyle choices play a big role in pressuring companies to adapt to more eco-friendly practices or actively pursue something towards change reversal instead of heavily contributing to it. It seems like a long stretch to end these practices by merely opting for some lifestyle changes; however, the effects can certainly add up over time. 

There are countless ways in which we can incorporate environmentally conscious decisions into our daily lives. We can opt to pick non-plastic packaging or even compost. One excellent resource, thankfully available locally to us in Davis, is the opportunity to visit the student-run Aggie Reuse Store on campus. The Reuse Store is a thrift store that provides not only clothes but also office supplies and appliances, all creatively crafted to fit environmental sustainability needs. Besides having items like these available for purchase, they also upcycle materials they have and turn them into useful and unique products. 

In an article by the University of California, Berkeley, thrifting has numerous benefits. One huge benefit amounted to plastic being used and ultimately tossed is significantly lower when thrifting. Another benefit is that resources used are heavily reduced by thrifting. One example they gave was that a pair of jeans takes about 1,800 gallons of water to make. 

There are substantial amounts of resources that are put into items such as shirts or pants that go unnoticed or unknown. It was not as simple as cutting and sewing cloth; an entire process, indeed, using a mass amount of resources to deliver the product you buy in stores. It goes even beyond making it and even providing the clothing to your store.

If there is a better, more creative way to go about shopping, then why not go for it? The items are sure to be high quality, and there are even bonus points knowing you’re contributing to the reversal of climate change, even if it’s just a little bit. You will be saving money and come across items you may not see in the mainstream stores. 

The environment needs us. The future of humanity depends on the choices we make. Even if it seems like it would make a minimal impact, it’s still more for the planet than what was being done before. So challenge yourself to switch out a lifestyle choice to something more environmentally conscious or grab a friend and go thrift shopping. Our choices today impact our tomorrow, so let’s make the correct ones. 

Gisselle Zaragoza is a third-year Political Science-Public Service major with a minor in Chicanx Studies. She is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada and is pursuing a career in immigration law. She is one of the Opinion Editors for the Davis Vanguard at UC Davis. 


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39 Comments

  1. Ron Oertel

    The obvious fact is the average citizen is not to blame for climate change or the lack of respect for the environment. 

    Followed by this:

    Our lifestyle choices play a big role in pressuring companies to adapt to more eco-friendly practices or actively pursue something towards change reversal instead of heavily contributing to it.

    There are countless ways in which we can incorporate environmentally conscious decisions into our daily lives.

    *Sigh*

    In any case, don’t blame me – I only drive one vehicle at a time. And it’s not even an SUV. 🙂

  2. Chris Griffith

    Now That We’ve Established That Our Earth is Suffering…What Can We Do?”

    My personal opinion is that the question is moot. We can’t stop unless we very drastically reduce either the human population or its standard of living, or both. With some choice nuclear strikes, we might be able to bring the human population down to a few million hunters & gatherers without any influence on the climate. I think that’s a very high price to pay for a more natural climate, but polar bears and penguins would thank us for it.

  3. Ron Oertel

    Well, maybe one can argue that Elon Musk is doing his part – in Austin.

    Looks like that where he’ll build the “Cybertruck”.  🙂 (That is one odd-looking vehicle, though. Not sure if that’s the final design.)

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/elon-musk-predicts-austin-texas-will-be-the-biggest-boom-town-that-america-has-seen-in-50-years/ar-BB1dC2tm?li=BBnbfcL

    https://www.businessinsider.com/tesla-cybertruck-elon-musk-engineering-finished-deliveries-maybe-this-year-2021-1

    1. Chris Griffith

      You know you bring up an interesting point.

      How many hazardous chemicals are used in the manufacturing of the batteries and  in say 50 or 100 years how are we going to dispose of all them batteries that isn’t itself is hazardous material.

      In considering the lifespan of a solar panel and everybody’s going to have solar panels on their houses how are we going to dispose of all them solar panels and what are the hazardous materials that they consist of and also what hazardous materials are used in the construction of the solar panels I never hear of those questions asked.

       

       

       

       

      1. Chris Griffith

        If I understand correctly the people that are driving electric cars currently in California don’t pay road tax it is simply drive up they get free electricity for their car and they use our roads for free as a perk to incentivize people to buy electric cars so when are they going to start paying taxes and also the corporations and companies that buy these electric powered semis are they going to have the same perks in California if so when are they going to start paying taxes to support the roads within the state

      2. Ron Oertel

        There are those points, aren’t there?

        I suspect that unless one drives a lot (which is the actual problem), it might be better for the environment to just keep an older vehicle for as long as possible.  With a bonus of being much less-expensive, in most ways.

        Recommend watching “Planet of the Humans”, as discussed on here previously.

        In any case, maybe Elon Musk will send those discarded batteries into space – maybe send them into the sun? 🙂

        (Didn’t he already send up one of his Teslas into space?)

        https://www.inc.com/don-reisinger/elon-musk-sent-his-tesla-roadster-into-space-two-years-ago-heres-where-it-is-now.html

  4. Chris Griffith

    I have another question since I’m on a rant 😲

    What is the life cycle of these electric batteries within these cars and then if one of them goes out of warranty and you got to repair that little puppy how much did that new battery going to set you back for that Tesla and at that point is it worth installing the new battery within the Tesla or you just simply haul off your $80,000 car to the junkyard.

  5. Chris Griffith

    In the near future when people start paying road tax according to how many miles they drive under speedometer instead of how many gallons they pump and they really can’t comprehend the taxes they pay to use the roadway they’re going to flip out. The average person has no idea how much road tax they pay to the federal government and the state government in road taxes in a given year.

  6. David Greenwald

    Young people are worried about their future, and the older commenters on the Vanguard are more interested in making ironic comments about things that have nothing to do with this topic.  What does that tell you?

    1. Ron Oertel

      Could mean several things, such as:

      1)  They’re too busy with schools and careers to be commenting on here.  Leaving a middle-aged white man to tell slightly older white men what young people are interested in.  Sort of like how some enlightened white people tell less-enlightened white people what people of color think.

      2)  Some older people already implement the suggestions made in the article.

      3)  There are actual points being made, in some of the semi-humorous comments. Some of which may, or may not have been fully considered.

      4) Maybe some of them don’t actually care, when you come right down to it. (Sort of like how some students were so willing to support DISC, with its 5,000 or so parking spaces.)

        1. Keith Olsen

           “what’s wrong with…

          “what’s up with the comments,”

          They can comment and present their opinions, nobody is stopping them.

          What’s wrong, they don’t like alternative views?

          I don’t worry about it.

        2. Alan Miller

          Having talked with many who ask “what’s wrong with…” or “what’s up with the comments,” I just tell them not to worry about it.

          Dismissive today, much?

  7. Chris Griffith

    Young people are worried about their future, and the older commenters on the Vanguard are more interested in making ironic comments about things that have nothing to do with this topic. What does that tell you?

    Kind sir

    This is most definitely on topic this is everything to do with the environment and it also is it very important to young people whether they know it or not or even care about it one article in this blog you talk about student debt being so much to poor students where do they start paying this they’re little student debt is going to pail in comparison

     

  8. Ron Oertel

    I wonder how much greenhouse gas is generated (and how much oil and other material is used) in simply maintaining/ repaving roads (for any type of vehicle – including electric vehicles and bicycles).

    The same roads that are used for all aspects of modern life (including food and goods delivery, etc). Even if one does not have a car.

    1. Chris Griffith

      Ron,

      Since you mention roadways and repaving roads if oil is a hazardous material and they’ll call out hazmat for a big oil spill on the highway how come asphalt itself is not considered a hazardous material? I have all these questions and so little time life is just too short 😊

        1. Bill Marshall

          Let me put this in simple terms (for those that appear to need it)… the asphalt in AC pavement is neither significantly volatile, nor water soluble… oils come in ‘many flavors’ in ‘spills’… some are volatile, some are toxic if they enter storm drainage systems, many are flammable… I pretty much knew that in fifth grade… subsequent education in o-Chem, biology, and the engineering properties of AC pavements have deepened that basic knowledge…

          Big diff between AC pavements and ‘oil spills’, known to anyone that has a scintilla of knowledge.

  9. Chris Griffith

    There’s one more thing that will be eliminated

    All the taxes from the wellhead to the  gas station all the taxes that are made from the cracking of the gas at the oil plants there’s a lot of money involved here and somewhere down the food chain the state and federal government’s not going to give that money up they’re going to figure out other ways to get that money from this so-called green energy

    I don’t think this will affect me that much I’m old enough that I’ll be dead in a few years but all them crumb cruncher coming of age is going to have to pay for all this BS.

    That’s one hell of a legacy of that I think we don’t need to leave them

    But then again that’s just one person’s opinion.

     

     

     

    1. Ron Oertel

      If I’m not mistaken, that’s pretty much how Gray Davis got recalled.  (A massive increase in car registration fees, which were subsequently rolled-back.)

        1. Ron Oertel

          Political activist Ted Costa launched DavisRecall.com in March 2003 and the recall petition drive took hold in April, fueled by voters angered over Davis’ move to triple the vehicle license fee, the ballooning state budget deficit and his handling of a statewide energy crisis.

          The campaign was dominated by Schwarzenegger’s memorable photo ops. In one, he wielded a broom to “sweep” Sacramento clean. In another, he staged the dramatic “crushing” of the Davis car tax.

          Legacy of Gov. Gray Davis’ recall endures (sfgate.com)

          Anything else you’d like me to do?

        2. Ron Oertel

          Or, maybe you and Bill would prefer this one?

          The defining issue of the 2003 recall was Gov. Gray Davis’ tripling of the car tax, more officially known as the Vehicle License Fee. The defining issue of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s successful campaign to unseat Davis was his promised rollback of said car tax.

          The great car-tax swindle – Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)

          Or if you’d like, I can find other articles/sources regarding this as well.

          And maybe next time you can both do some research yourself, before making erroneous challenges/claims in regard to a casual comment.

        1. Ron Oertel

          Thanks!

          You also make a valid point regarding gas taxes, etc., in regard to the increased use of electric vehicles.

          Money will ultimately need to come from somewhere (e.g., miles driven, etc.).

        2. Chris Griffith

          I think my main bugaboo with all this is we have government trying to put its tentacles in private enterprises and trying to be market controllers and market makers we know better things to do with their tax money they don’t need to be subsidizing the solar industries or the car industries and what type of power they’re going to use to mopate a car down the road it’s ridiculous.

          The market ought to be left alone let the entrepreneurs build the next biggest and brightest thing if it’s a good idea it’ll take off people buy it  government’s not good at s*** like that and never will be people  working in government are simply a bunch of people that can’t find a job in the real world so they become politicians or simply government workers and then they like going around telling another people how to run their businesses that’s why Elon Musk and a whole host of other companies left California and went to Texas for God’s sake but they’re not smart enough to figure that out.  In humble opinion this is not about trying to make a Green planet it’s about trying to put green backs in her back pocket.

          But then again this is just one person’s opinion

  10. Chris Griffith

    Now That We’ve Established That Our Earth is Suffering…What Can We Do?”

    So I guess the bottom line answer to this question is all the poor kids with the underdeveloped brains are screwed and all the rich kids born with a silver spoon in there mouth are going to be fat and sassy.

    🙄

  11. Bill Marshall

    government trying to put its tentacles in private enterprises and trying to be market controllers and market makers

    On this, we basically agree… govt’ is right to encourage, and get out of the way of most private enterprises, and ‘the market’… some they do need to discourage, and get in the way of certain things… but “control” (as opposed to ‘regulate’), “dictate”, “direct”… NO… that can well lead to ‘dictatorship’…

    Education, as to possible, likely, consequences, is one thing… that is good… proscribing certain actions is good (like “thou shalt not kill”)… prescribing and demanding how enterprise, markets act is not so good… government should “know its place”… particularly how divisive government has become, with wild oscillations…

    1. Chris Griffith

      When Henry Ford (the Elon Musk of the day) started building has powered cars I don’t think the government subsidized his cars he did screw a lot of investors over but he didn’t take a bit taxpayers money and if that philosophy work then I think it could work now. You know a lot of the articles that are posted on the Vanguard or about the poor helpless minorities they can’t afford School for can’t afford broadband etc etc etc. But I never hear of anybody trying to pull themselves out of the gutter and better themselves everyone seems to want a green planet but I don’t see a lot of people trying to make it I just hear a lot of talk and how to get the next freebie out of the government.

      I know I’m getting off topic so I’ll quit 😊

       

       

       

       

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