Students, Faculty Say We Need to Act on Climate Change

Azriel Badon, Feature

Climate change has worsened over the past 30 years, and the effects can be seen in Hawaii. Human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels have caused persistent increases in greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

Students and faculty from Kalani High School were asked about their thoughts on climate change and humans’ impact on the environment.

“Even though we are improving technology, we’re also still harming the environment,” Rain Agbayani (11) expresses. “I think when we have a plan to do something we really don’t think about how it’s gonna affect our world in the future. We always think about the cause but not the effect.”

She says although we have the resources to make more eco-friendly products, we continue to produce item after harmful item.

On March 2, 2020, The Economic Times published an article about an experiment conducted by the University of East Anglia and the University of Leeds which determined that most people avoid eco-friendly products thinking they are more costly and will lack quality and performance. 

Reese Fukumoto (11) agrees that it’s hard to stray away from our unethical lifestyle and suggests that we should begin to transition to eco-friendly products to save our planet.

“I think no matter how much we like to try to say we’re going to protect it [our planet] or do something about it, it gets delayed further and further,” she says.

Due to the changing climate, scientists predict that Hawaii’s oceans will continue to rise, eventually causing flooding, and damage to economic and coastal systems. The ocean acidity has also been increasing as air temperatures rise.

“Our habits are to acquire more than what we need for survival,” Kalani English teacher Jan Omura says. “We are overtaxing our natural resources without regard to future consequences. We are so focused on instant gratification; we cannot see how these habits are harmful to our world.”

Ms. Omura expresses that our society gets overwhelmed and feels helpless when facing big, complicated problems. She explains that the best thing we can do is control our habits in life and aim to make a difference. 

“We have done irreversible damage to our planet and environment,” Omura says. “I don’t think that we can ‘undo’ all of the damage that we caused, but we can slow down the damage that we’re currently experiencing.”