Guest opinion: Do your part for our world


As I am sure you all know, the recent United Nations climate report estimated that we have until 2030 to reduce our emissions by 80 percent or we will not be able to keep the global temperature change from rising above 2 degrees Celsius. If this happens, there is no hope left for our species or our world. It's not about saving our grandchildren anymore, it's about saving ourselves.

But unfortunately, some people still do not see that surviving as a species will involve major lifestyle changes. They are okay with recycling every once in a while, but do not want to commit to remodeling the way we commute. They could tolerate a few more bike lanes, but they would not use them. But the thing is, we all need to realize that life will be very different in the future -- that is a fact. It is our choice whether we want to welcome that difference by adapting to tougher policies, or to perish from it. Merely a few years ago, the entire city of Mountain View was run on fossil fuel-generated electricity. Now, nearly every business and household runs on clean energy, and Mountain View is looking forward to its very first Earth Day celebration. Progress is being made -- just not fast enough.

Yes, a bullet train is necessary. And bike lanes can be fun and safe. In Amsterdam, the multi-level parking garages are not for cars, they're for bikes. And every day they are full to the brim. Besides, this is Silicon Valley. We surely have the power to revolutionize the sustainable energy industry, and make money doing it too. Forbes predicts that the United States' renewable energy business is worth $3 trillion. Anyone want to cash in?

Get involved in our community. You don't have to become Greta Thunberg (the Swedish teenager known for her climate activism), but you can join a local protest group, or organize community education events. Replace your gas-burning water heater with an electric one. Turn your company in a more sustainable direction. Explain to your cousin that climate change does not mean that you cannot form a snowball, it means that the global temperature is rising. Leave your car at home and dust off your bike. Every great change that has ever occurred started with one person with an idea.

People always remark that it is up to my generation to make things right. But my generation does not have time. In 11 years, I will be 28, barely starting my career, and it will already be too late to turn things around. It is up to you. We only have 11 years left, so let us make them count. Let us give it our all, and put up a fight. Because once our emissions are past the tipping point, we cannot go back. Our chance is now. Every living person has a responsibility to do their part, no matter how small.

This could be like the moon race, with countries racing to be the first to prove the extent of their technological innovation. Climate change will be the struggle that defines every generation alive today. While the "greatest generation" had to stand up and tackle two world wars head-on, we now have no other choice but to bear the burden of the cards we have been dealt, and fight for our futures.

Look at this from a patriotic standpoint, and do your part for our country. Do your part for our world. I want YOU to join the U.S. climate protection movement.

Jamie Minden is a sophomore at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View.

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.


2 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Apr 22, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Christopher Chiang is a registered user.

MV Voice Editors, I hope the MV Voice will consider running Jamie Minden's compelling guest piece on the front page of this week's printed paper, especially since today is Earth Day.

Like this comment
Posted by Kathryn
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 22, 2019 at 2:45 pm

Excellent piece. We are a one-car family, ride our bikes to work, compost our own vegetable/fruit waste, and look for every opportunity to reuse containers and recycle those we can't. Unfortunately Mountain View has limits to what goes into the recycling bin based on market value. So it looks like more will go to landfill! We have to figure out a connection between containers sold in stores and the communities' abilities to recycle them.
I wish grocery stores had more products sold in bulk, producing less packaging, producing less litter. If everyone took personal responsibility for not contributing to environmental pollution, we'd all be collectively better off. Happy Earth Day! Prevent Litter.

Like this comment
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2019 at 3:11 pm

Population control is needed.
Why not line dry clothes outside instead of using gas or electric dryers.
Eliminate kitchen garbage disposals.
As things are now with China refusing our waste, the forced practice of payment of CVR, home collection, curbside pick up and then warehouse storage is not a solution. It is a money maker for storage and collection businesses at the residents' expense.

Like this comment
Posted by Matt
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 30, 2019 at 10:01 am

"People always remark that it is up to my generation to make things right. But my generation does not have time. In 11 years, I will be 28, barely starting my career, and it will already be too late to turn things around. It is up to you. We only have 11 years left, so let us make them count." Very thoughtful remarks here. I like how the writer is not positioning as a hero, but rather as understandable of their own significance or lack thereof. Regardless, she understands that to do nothing is to accomplish nothing; and that even if that which is accomplished is insignificant in the greater scheme, if everyone were to do something...that would amount to significance in the fight for change.
- Matt Web Link

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

After 39 years of cakes and pastries, Palo Alto institution Prolific Oven to close
By Elena Kadvany | 55 comments | 17,537 views

Local Transit to the Rescue?
By Sherry Listgarten | 16 comments | 2,116 views

The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Process Explained
By Steve Levy | 9 comments | 1,524 views

"You Gotta Have Balls [to do counseling] . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,295 views


Register now!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

More Info