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By Sherry Listgarten

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About this blog: Climate change, despite its outsized impact on the planet, is still an abstract concept to many of us. That needs to change. My hope is that readers of this blog will develop a better understanding of how our climate is evolving a...  (More)

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What Local Teens are Saying

Uploaded: Jan 12, 2020
I talked with a number of local teens this past week to learn what they think about climate change and our response to it. A summary of what I heard follows, along with my takeaways.

Q: How much would you say you know about climate change?

I was interested in how teens would evaluate their understanding of this important topic. The most common answer was “not much”, though I also heard “some”, “a fair amount”, “enough to know we need to reduce emissions”, and “not much, but probably more than most kids”.

A few kids expressed frustration with their lack of knowledge. For example, “I don’t know much, I mostly just see protests. I wish I knew more.” Or “I wish we learned more in school.”

Since it was clear from the initial conversation that there was a wide range in understanding, I asked a follow-up.

Q: Where do you learn about climate change?

Answers to this question ranged from Instagram and social media, to friends, parents, school, and the nightly news.

The kids who were most informed learned from the news. Which news? “KRON”, “CNN”, “local news”, “weather” (“where they compare before and after”), and “You know, that channel that everyone watches” (which he later guessed was KQED; yes, we live in a bubble). These kids seemed to have a daily news habit, and the news is doing its job of getting information about climate change across.

The kids who seemed least informed got most of their information from social media. They were aware that they didn’t know much, with one saying: “Instagram activism is the worst thing ever. People pretend to care, but they don’t really know anything.”

I heard mixed messages about school. For example, two kids said climate change is integrated into the curriculum at Paly, while others said they weren’t learning about it there. Several cited AP Bio and environmental science classes. JLS science and even elementary school science classes also came up. (“They teach us that the little things add up.”)

Most kids said they didn’t learn much from their friends. Parents were generally influential, but the amount the kids learned about climate change from their parents was mixed.

Q: Do you feel like you have had any direct experience with climate change?

To get a better understanding of motivation, I asked some of the kids if they have had any direct experience with climate change. It was interesting to me how few mentioned the fires last year, though many must have had their activities curtailed. None mentioned the power shut-offs, which had less impact in our area. None mentioned recent statewide drought. And none mentioned things they’ve seen on their travels or experiences of relatives or friends living elsewhere. In general, the kids are not seeing a connection between climate change and their day-to-day lives.

Q: Are you and/or your family taking any actions with climate change in mind?

Far and away the most common answer to this was about recycling and composting. The pervasive messaging about waste management in schools and at home has gotten through. Plastic came up a lot -- reducing use of plastic straws, bags, utensils, and bottles. Two kids had an interesting discussion about metal straws vs no straws at all.

There was some attention given to greenhouse gas emissions. A number of kids brought up transportation. Biking and carpooling were tops, but also “that bus that everyone takes” (to Gunn). There was some mention of EVs, with awareness that they are good but also expensive. One savvy student mentioned that the source of the EV power matters. Only one teen mentioned that her family is flying less, though one noted that her family doesn’t fly much, so there isn’t much to do there.

A number of kids mentioned saving electricity, and in particular turning off lights. One rattled off a number of things: using LEDs, unplugging appliances, idling less, closing the windows. Several kids were explicit that small things matter. “Everyday things make a difference, like turning off lights. We just need a lot of people to do them.”

A few kids also mentioned saving water, for example via shorter showers or turning off the tap while brushing teeth.

I didn’t get a sense of a strong ambition to reduce emissions, so I asked a follow-up question in case they were feeling frustrated with that.

Q: If you had a magic wand, are there things your family or our community would be doing differently?

A few kids mentioned a desire for solar panels at home and/or an EV, while also acknowledging their high cost. One boy wished that compostable bags were cheaper so his family would compost food scraps and not just yard waste.

Several mentioned a need to “work together”, expressing some frustration with politicians. “If I had a magic wand? I would make it stop. If I couldn’t do that, I would like politicians to be better. A lot of people won’t change actions unless it becomes a law. If the politicians were all on the same page, and were serious about it, we could do so much with the government.” “I wish there were more incentives for doing things like recycling. We need elections and laws to better prevent really bad things from happening.” And one said simply: ”I wish more people cared”.

Some of the kids were frustrated about big things that seemed out of their control. For example, one really wanted to use less plastic, but “Everything is plastic”, and gave examples of toothbrushes and toothpaste. “I wish things were more recyclable and compostable.” and “We need alternatives to plastic, and for companies to use less plastic packaging.” Two others stressed “big companies” that produce a lot of emissions, with a third saying “In this city, we are doing all that we can. But I’m not sure how much it’s helping. Corporations and moneyed interests are mostly to blame.”

In that vein, one or two kids wished that more places cared as much as our cities do. One girl referenced a relative who would love to recycle and compost, but who lives in a city where those services aren’t available. Also: “Palo Alto is designed for bikes. When I moved here from Texas and saw bike lanes everywhere, I couldn’t believe it.”

A number of other “magic wand” answers included:

- “I don’t know, do we really need two refrigerators? Is that some kind of a grown-up thing?”
- “We need to find other solutions to gas cars and cows. We need to take a break from meat. I would put a limit on how many cows a farm can have. I wouldn’t ban them, because that would be bad for jobs and the farmers. Also, we shouldn’t waste meat, we should use it carefully, not throw it away.”
- “We need to protect our parks and our land.”
- “I want to save the polar bears.”
- “I would really like to reverse this. All we are doing is trying not to make it worse. I’d like to do better than that.”
- “A big problem is over-population. Too many people are using up limited resources.”

I followed up with a more direct question about our response to climate change.

Q: Do you think we are doing enough? Are our actions aligned with our rhetoric?

Some had already commented on this, but there were some additional responses, reflecting a sense of helplessness among some of the kids:
- “Everyone is complaining, but no one is really doing anything.” (referring to kids at school)
- “Things need to change so much, but no one is doing anything, making an effort. Just talking a lot.”
- “I’m worried it will hit us all of a sudden and it will be too late.”
- “People care but they aren’t willing to give stuff up. It’s also true that, mostly in other countries, some people don’t care at all but naturally live low emissions.”
- “Are our actions aligned? I don’t think so. It’s really bad at this point. It’s hard to measure up with everyday things. When you buy something from the store, it comes wrapped in plastic.”

It’s interesting how “plastic” has become a stand-in for all things climate. If only the climate problem were that constrained.

Q: How do you think climate change will affect you in the next 5 years? Next 20?

While few of the teens felt they had any direct experience with climate change to date, what did they envision for their future?

Responses to this question were somewhat sparse, in part because it was towards the end, but it’s also a difficult question. Most of the responses were about poor air quality. “The air will be toxic.” There were a number of mentions of fires. “Bigger and worse, not just in sparsely populated areas.” and “Fires will be commonplace.”

A few felt we are in better shape than most. “Cities like San Francisco that are working on this now will be better off.” and “It won’t affect us as much. It will have more effect on people who aren’t as well off.”

One or two teens were enthusiastic about the prospects for jobs (“science jobs”, said one; “NASA jobs”, said another). Several felt it would affect where they live. “It would impact where I live. There will be more weather and disasters.” One was pretty sure we would be colonizing another planet (“though that will probably be after I die”). And one took the same global perspective but without the extra-planetary escape, expressing concern about destabilization from geopolitical tensions and climate-induced migration.

My Takeaways

One of my biggest takeaways is a worry that we are raising kids to be apathetic or even cynical given the disconnect they see between the severity of the issues we are facing, the amount they and their peers know about it, and the actions they see us taking. (Can you imagine being a kid in Australia right now, with entire ecosystems and hundreds of millions of animals being destroyed in fires, yet a prime minister who insists on mining massive amounts of coal?) Would it help if we all did a better job discussing the actions we are taking with our kids? With that in mind, I’ve drafted an outline that could be a starting point for parents who want to discuss what they are doing about climate change with teens, or vice versa. I think the more we can do to show kids that we are aligning our actions with our concerns, the more empowered they will feel.

Another observation is that many kids want to learn more but they rely mostly on social media for information and recognize that they learn little from it. There is an opportunity for an engaging, informative Instagram account that kids can follow and learn about climate change. A local teen here could start one and see how it goes. There is also an opportunity for more learning in school.

It’s not clear to me that kids understand which activities result in the most greenhouse gas emissions. I was disappointed that so many felt the need to fall back on recycling and composting when asked about actions related to climate change. More important are: transportation, diet and food waste, home energy use, and general consumption (especially reduce but also reuse). I would like to see more ambition from our teens, for themselves and for others, when it comes to reducing emissions. Making sure they know basics like this could help.

Finally, I think it’s important that kids understand we are moving towards a cleaner, more sustainable future, and that they can play a big part in making that happen. This problem is still manageable, and as several of the kids said, “We just need to work together” and “More people need to care and take action.” It’s on all of us to make that happen. Parents can help kids, and kids can help parents, to do just that.

Current Climate Data (November/December 2019)
The ocean in 2019 was “by far the hottest” on record (see here).

Global impacts, US impacts, CO2 metric, Climate dashboard (updated annually)

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Comments

 +   7 people like this
Posted by Student, a resident of Gunn High School,
on Jan 12, 2020 at 12:00 pm

I think that what kids/teens hear from their schools about climate change can make a huge impact on the actions we take. For example, look back at the response to the drought: schools had a huge push to inform students about the drought and things we could do to help, mostly being many *practical* ways to help conserve water (shorter showers, water lawns less, etc.). This stuck with a lot of kids, and even after the worst of the drought is over, saving water is something that I feel like many people do by habit now.

It would be incredible if the schools could take this kind of course in regard to climate change as a whole. Every single kid has to go to school, so if the school makes a real effort to integrate information about climate change and how to fight it into the curriculum (not only in class, but have school-wide assemblies, rewards for biking to school, etc.) then the idea of living sustainably will at the very least be an idea in the back of every student's head.

To me (and I speak from my own views), it's not that most kids are opposed to taking action against climate change, it's that they don't know what to do, and they don't have the time or energy to do the research necessary to find out. By making education on climate part of the everyday routine of school, students will finally know how they can help. Given access to this knowledge, I have confidence that kids will take action and be able to make a large impact on behalf of the planet.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by help these kids, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on Jan 12, 2020 at 12:12 pm

These kids (sorry, I'm an old cow-f*rt) know more about the issue than I knew about current issues at that age.

The environmental issue I was closest to was the tremendously bad air in the Bay Area in the 70's. I have great hope for their generation, as long as we 'set the table' to give them half a chance to conquer the threat.

And if we don't act immediately to help their planet? My guess is they'll have to work twice as hard to get half as far.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 12, 2020 at 1:11 pm

I think the kids are getting the message but I'm not sure what the message is doing to their own lifestyles.

They are very good at telling the older generation all the things we have done wrong, but are not willing to say which of their present lifestyles they are willing to change. Ask a teen to go to a friend's house on a bike or take a bus and see what they say? I feel sure that they either want to drive themselves or get a ride from a parent and expect the parent to come back later to pick them up. Ask a teen to cook a meal from scratch rather than call out for delivery or go out to the nearest fast food place. Ask a teen to mow a lawn with a push lawnmower, rake leaves instead of using a blower, wear a pair of pants two days running, walk to the grocery store and carry back a few groceries, or anything that was common practice to me in my young days, and I will get a blank stare!

OK, maybe I am exaggerating somewhat, but when I think of what was normal behavior for me and my peers modern young people think I am either joking or came from the 19th century.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Sherry Listgarten, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Jan 12, 2020 at 8:26 pm

Sherry Listgarten is a registered user.

Thanks for the comments!

@Student, one thing I don't know is if the public schools are constrained in some way wrt what they teach. Is climate change considered too political? Or too upsetting? Or maybe the teachers don't have time to weave it in? I don't know. FWIW, I just learned that climate.gov has a section on educating teachers, including a new course for middle school teachers. So maybe it will happen. My daughter was learning evolution earlier this year, and I thought how interesting it would have been to even just have a discussion on how evolution can work with a rapidly changing climate, what scientists are seeing, whether there are ways to accelerate evolution, how animals are or are not adapting, which are most likely to evolve quickly and why, the relevance of diversity, the impact of climate change on diversity, etc, etc.

@Res, fwiw, I think change is hard for any generation, but the kids are probably more flexible than others. The more we can help them to adjust their habits now, and show them how it's done, I think the easier it will be for them in the future (not to mention better for the planet).


 +   11 people like this
Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 4:12 am

These kids will still be around in 2070. I was in their shoes in 1970. We had just finished an interesting environmentalist decade from Carson's Silent Spring to Ehrlich's Population Bomb. David Brower was running Sierra Club and starting Friends of the Earth. Local concern launched Save the Bay as Foster City furthered wetlands erosion. Cubberley suspended classes for days for a series of presentations by ecology advocates, but mixed with busing and racial issues and Viet Nam protestors like David Harris coming to campus my memories are vague (wish I could find my old Catamounts). What stuck with me most was oil would completely run out by 1985. Of course by 1985 most of us had kids of our own and were driving minivans, so the kids you spoke with for this article must be our grandkids. Wonder what they will think in 50 years. All I can offer here is some perspective.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by help these kids, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 10:51 am

Ask a teen to go to a friend's house
Ask a teen to cook a meal
Ask a teen to mow a lawn
(or my favorite - get a hs job)


Yes! Why just the other day I asked a teen to walk to school in the snow, uphill both ways, like WE ALL DID back in the day! Is that too much to ask?!? C'mon, 'man' up, you child! Sheesh! Kids these days! And get offa my lawn while yer at it!

---

Sorry - do I need to re-read the topic, or are we just sliding into generational bashing? Want me to relay how lazy my parents thought we were? How lucky I was growing up because (get this) we had an actual *Cookie Jar* in the house, complete with, wait for it, COOKIES!! (Depression era parents didn't know what cookies were, apparently they were invented just for the lazy 60's/70's generation.)

Climate or cookies, folks. Pick one to discuss.

I love this generation of kids - I've worked with a lot of them in a volunteer capacity (alas, mostly boys.) I loved the last generation as well (yes, the dreaded millennial!)

Let's give our kids, grandkids and great-grandkids a world better than ours, not a disaster of historic proportions.

Or, ya know, let's just bash them. It's easier than admitting WE are a big part of the problem.

Eh, wot?


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Sherry Listgarten, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 12:15 pm

Sherry Listgarten is a registered user.

@musical -- Perspective is a valuable thing, and seniors have more than most, so it's useful to look back.

It sounds like you are drawing an analogy (ironically) between a time (70's) when people were concerned that we would run out of oil by 1985, and a time (now) when people are concerned about global warming. As we all know, we did not in fact run out of oil.

My question is, is that a fair analogy? IMO, it's not. I don't think there was even close to an equivalent level of science and threat then as now. I am not aware of decades of global scientific consensus at the time as to when we would run out of oil. You reference Ehrlich's population bomb. But it's not like we talk about Hansen's global warming theory.

I just think we need to be thoughtful when looking for analogs, and cognizant of the implications of the analogies we are making. Like you, I wonder what world our kids will be living in in 50 years. Until then, though, what are we going to do to influence that?


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 12:46 pm

Since we seem to be comparing the 70s to now, let's just see how much we have progressed since then.

In the 70s, air quality was a big problem, not only in the SF and LA areas, but worldwide. With the exception of some of the Asian cities, air quality world wide is so much better. Unleaded gas and more reliable, fuel saving vehicles have done a lot to reach this.

In the 70s, the number of people who smoked alcohol was high and they would smoke anywhere and everywhere. In fact, you had to ask for a no smoking section in a restaurant. Now the numbers of people smoking is a small fraction and the amount of places they can smoke in public is vastly down.

Home heating was much more likely to be all or partly done with solid fuel fireplaces, water heating was similar. Our homes were very poorly insulated so much of the generated heat escaped through windows, doors and even walls. Our homes are much better insulated, with double pane glass and built in draught excluding devices. The amount of power necessary to generate enough heat in the modern built Silicon Valley home is much lower than what was built in the 70s.

Packaging in the 70s for everything had very low amounts of plastic, but it started to rise very quickly. Newspaper, butcher paper, parchment paper, wax paper, brown paper were all used to pack everything from food stuffs, fragile articles purchased in retail, and brown paper packages tied up in string were what was delivered from any catalog or far flung relative. In fact, plastic supposedly saved trees and was touted as being much better for the environment. I remember buying underwear, socks (in pairs with a cotton stitch to keep them together) displayed without any individual packaging and multiple purchases would be given in one paper shopping bag at the salespoint. I seem to remember them lasting much longer and having much less closing in my closet than I do now.

Milk, soda, etc. came in glass bottles and were taken back to get the deposit. I can't remember anyone carrying coffee around with them or even water. If you went hiking, something called a water canteen which may have been metal or leather seemed to be the thing to do, but only serious hikers or ex-military would really take water with them when hiking.

It seems to me that we who were young adults in the 70s, or possibly earlier, are being blamed for things we did not do. I am not saying we are not responsible in part for the disposable society in which we now live, but we did not invent the reliance to the disposables. In my youth, I used to commute regularly by public transport, absolutely nobody ate breakfast or had snacks with them while commuting. Cars did not have cupholders. Drive thrus hadn't been invented, but people did drive up and expect to be served in their cars and they stayed there until they had finished their food.

Lifestyle changes have happened. Some may say it was progress, but those of us over a certain age managed fine in the past and for the most part we have no objection to going back to our old ways.

BTW, my family trash fitted into one average sized can. We had no recycling can and no compost can. Any toaster, vacuum cleaner, toaster or hairdryer that broke was taken to be repaired as were shoes and broken zippers.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by OD, a resident of Triple El,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 1:11 pm

Must we be thoughtful with a denier who obsfucates, muddies, prevaricates or outright lies?

That just plays into their game if denial, like the "we gotta wait" fallacy.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Jan 13, 2020 at 4:30 pm

The most common answer was “not much", given the topic of local teens' current knowledge and understanding. Made me think back and evaluate my own environmental consciousness at that age, efforts to raise our awareness, discerning truth, the context of social turbulence and a sea of experts. My biggest takeaway became a non-issue, or ironically as you say, a big issue of 50 years later. Analogies draw themselves over time.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by neighbor, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 14, 2020 at 11:58 am

Anonymous, informal, recent survey of 105 random people in Palo Alto:

{most subjects gave multiple answers; totals will not add up to 100%}



Question1 WHAT ARE, OR WILL BE, THE WORST CONSEQUENCES OF THE GLOBAL ATMOSPHERE HEATING UP?

22% - “sea level rise/floods"
20% - “human mega-death / human death"
20% - “plant/animal species extinction" “eco-system/habitat/nature destruction"

12% - “losses of food/agriculture"
11% - “climate refugees/migration"
11% - “extreme weather disasters"
10% - “DON'T KNOW"
9% - “heat/drought"
7% - “fires"
5% - “children / next generation"
4% - “hoax / scam / conspiracy to create one world government"

other - “disease / economic disaster / resource wars / destruction of infrastructure"



Question 2: WHAT ARE THE MAJOR CAUSES OF THIS HEATING OF THE CLIMATE?

54% - “fossil-fuel pollution / CO2 emissions / greenhouse gases"

22% - “manufacturing/industry" “business/corporations" “lack of govt regulation"

12% - “cyclical / earth's orbit / natural / NOT humans / scam/hoax / volcanoes"
11% - “cows/beef/diary" “meat/agriculture" “methane"
8% - “cars"
5% - “china/india" “big countries"
4% - “DON'T KNOW"
4% - “ozone"

other “shipping/hvac/mining/plastics/garbage/airplanes/greed/deforestation/population"



Question 3: HOW DO INDIVIDUALS CREATE POLLUTION (YOUR CARBON FOTTPRINT")?

54% - “litter/waste/garbage/plastics" “lifestyle/consumption/product purchases"
47% - “cars"

19% - “meat / food / diet"

13% - “shipping / transportation / travel"
11% - “airplanes"
9% - “hvac / electricity"
8% - “NOT fault of individuals" “corporations / factories / machines"
6% - “DON'T KNOW"
5% - “burning wood/garbage/trees/bushes"
4% - “cigarettes"
4% - “people don't care / people don't know"
3% - “aerosols"

other - “fentanyl / scam / noise / coal/oil / greed"


 +   7 people like this
Posted by help these kids, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on Jan 14, 2020 at 1:29 pm

@neighbor: nice post (with all due understanding that it is not conducted under traditional means and posted anonymously)

The striking number is the few deniers that are willing to admit it to a questioner, compared to, for example, those that are willing to flood an online forum.

I'd love to know the answer/rationale on the "it's caused by earth's orbit" answer, though!!

Also: any indication to you of age groups? Heavily weighed to older?


 +   8 people like this
Posted by anonymous posters scream louder, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 14, 2020 at 3:50 pm

Deniers have an outsized voice in online forums. No one takes them seriously.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by DTNResident, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jan 14, 2020 at 4:31 pm

Ha ha, recycling? It all ends up in a landfill and has for years. And here's a newsflash: shipping tons of plastic to China on polluting cargo ships wasn't helping anything anyway.

How can you stop climate change? Ride a bike and hang your laundry to dry. If everyone did those two things, the earth would be cooling, not warming.

But instead, they will do nothing. Nothing that won't get them social media attention, like driving to a protest with signs painted with paint shipped from China.


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Resident, please check your facts., a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 14, 2020 at 5:53 pm

Resident, please check your facts. is a registered user.

Before you criticize kids, please check your facts. 51% of PAUSD high school students bike to school every day. About 100 kids per day ride the VTA88 bus to Gunn. Many walk to high school--we don't have a current count walker count.

I'd say these kids are doing an awesome job reducing school commute related carbon emissions. I'm sure that the kids who are driving might be persuaded to consider a lower carbon option if we were more positive.

As a senior citizen, I support them by walking and biking as often as I can for trips under five miles. Bicycling is a efficient and fun way to travel in Palo Alto. It also keeps me fit. "Use it, or lose it."

Sherry, I so appreciate your articles. Please keep them coming. They inspire me to do more.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by BBQ brain, a resident of University South,
on Jan 14, 2020 at 5:54 pm

" If everyone did those two things, the earth would be cooling, not warming"

While decent efforts, you are in correct. As your math teacher used to say: "show your work"


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Sherry Listgarten, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 10:43 am

Sherry Listgarten is a registered user.

Great comments!

@Resident -- Yes, the 70’s were a much cleaner time all around, emissions-wise and trash-wise. Our practices and habits have changed a lot in just a few decades. Hopefully we can manage that again, but in the other direction.

@help -- The “Earth’s orbit” remark is referring to Milankovich cycles, in which the Earth’s distance from the sun varies slightly over time. The variations in orbit are responsible, for example, for the periodicity of the ice ages. However, there is clear consensus that they are not responsible for the global warming we are seeing over the last century. Orbital variations is one of a variety of things that people sometimes trot out when they don’t want to blame humans for global warming. Sun spots is another, I think. In general the conversation has moved past this, so it’s kind of surprising to hear someone still bringing it up.

@DTN/@BBQ -- Yes, biking and line-drying are effective, but they only work for people who have time and/or energy to do that. It is going to take a variety of alternatives to move people away from our high-emission practices. Maybe someone can take the train, carpool, or use an EV. Maybe they can dry their clothes midday on a weekend when power is cleaner. Those are good, too. It is also true that we need change across the board, not only in our homes, but in industry, in government, in stores, etc. But we all have to start somewhere, and decreasing our own transportation costs and home power consumption is a terrific thing to do.

@pleasecheck -- Yes! We are so lucky that kids here get themselves to school by bike and bus, for the most part. It is a huge help with our emissions and our traffic. Keep it up, kids!


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Anneke, a resident of Professorville,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 12:58 pm

Not that long ago we visited a reputable store in Mountain View which sells washers, dryers, stoves, ovens, microwaves and more.

What truly shocked me was the service manager telling me that the average lifetime of the products mentioned above is about eight years. ONLY EIGHT YEARS! It is obvious that manufacturers produce these machines with built-in obsolescence on purpose. I see the same in the computer industry. It is all about increasing revenue.

If we truly want to be successful in reducing waste and reversing climate danger, then some of our modern values of "new and improved" need to change. May be we need to bring back the value of lasting in our thinking.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Anneke, a resident of Professorville,
on Jan 15, 2020 at 1:28 pm

One more response.....

This past Sunday we took a wonderful walk through our little neighborhood.

I had previously heard about the plans of demolishing a gorgeous home in Professorville, but I could not believe it could happen. Well, it did.

Web Link

With tears in our hearts we looked at the "war zone" site where this absolutely beautiful home once stood, only to be replaced by a larger home. Talk about conspicuous consumption!

Our city management gets heavily involved in not allowing plastic bags and straws, but they apparently allowed this major destruction and waste of a wonderful and majestic home. What a terrible loss!


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Benefiting local non-profits

The 36th annual Moonlight Run and Walk is Friday evening, October 2, wherever you are! Proceeds go to the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, benefiting local non-profits that serve families and children in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Join us under the light of the full Harvest Moon on a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon.

Register Today!