By Katherine Scruggs
It is important to ask adolescents their views on climate change. Because of this, environmentalists are asking young people all around the world what they think about the topic. First and foremost, an idea of what climate change is must be established for people to completely understand the idea and develop an idea on it for themselves.
Climate change is defined as “a long-term shift in global or regional climate patterns,” according to The National Geographic. Oftentimes, it is explicitly referring to an increase in temperatures from the mid 20th century until now.
The problem has always been there, but it is rapidly accelerating due to human influences. Statistics have shown that there are people do not believe they have an impact on climate.
Picture: A statistic of interest in climate change/global warming. Source: Yale University
As the study shows, America is very divided about the issue. But, the question still remains, how do the majority of teenagers feel about climate change?
Climate change is perhaps a greater worry for teens because it will supposedly affect them more than it will the older population.
According to the Washington Post, “A solid majority of American teenagers are convinced that humans are changing Earth’s climate and believe that it will cause harm to them personally and to other members of their generation, according to a new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll. Roughly 1 in 4 have participated in a walkout, attended a rally or written to a public official to express their views on global warming — a remarkable level of activism for a group that has not yet reached voting age.”
The source also explains how 25% of American teens have taken initiative to make a change, which is a very significant number. In fact, more teens have an opinion on climate change than those who are indifferent. This may be because they are fearful of what may happen in the future and desperately want to make a change.
The National Geographic wrote on their website, “Throughout Earth's history, climate has continually changed. When occurring naturally, this is a slow process that has taken place over hundreds and thousands of years. The human influenced climate change that is happening now is occuring at a much faster rate.”
This is perhaps why many teens hope to make a difference in the future so that they can live a long and enjoyable life just as their ancestors did. Realistically, anyone can make a change if they act on it. No matter what someone’s standpoint is, it is important for them to be informed on the dangers of climate change.