• Fiona Chang

We went to the Silicon Valley Climate Strike!




On September 20, 2019, we went to the Silicon Valley Climate Strike. Hundreds of people protested in the streets of San Jose, all the way up to the City Hall. Our 500 Women Scientists Youth Pod went in support of the cause. Climate change is happening. Change needs to happen, and that starts with policy.


What is Silicon Valley Youth Climate Strike's Mission? Their website states,


"Our mission is to mobilize youth within Silicon Valley to help combat the climate crisis and demand change. Whether it be through striking, writing op-eds, or building a coalition with other organizations, we are fighting for our futures every way we can."


WHERE'S THE EVIDENCE?


The carbon dioxide levels are at an all time high.

The chart above was taken from the NASA website. Besides carbon dioxide levels, our rise in global temperature and oceans, as well as shrinking ice sheets show that the earth is undergoing the serious effects of climate change.


(source: https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ )



WHAT'S CAUSING THIS?


Saudi Arabians lead the word in per capita carbon dioxide usage. The United States isn't that far behind.

This chart was taken off of nature.com, and displays the amount of carbon dioxide each country uses, per capita. The United States is a close second to Saudi Arabia, with Americans using an average of 16.6 tons of carbon dioxide. That's a lot!


(source: nature.com )



ONE PERSON'S VIEW OF CLIMATE CHANGE


Robert O. Mendelsohn is an environmentalist economist and professor at Yale University. In his journal article, The Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change in Developing Countries, it is said that,


"The extent of climate change that will occur in the future will depend on the extent of mitigation that the global society finally agrees to do and how natural systems adjust to rising greenhouse gases."

( Mendelsohn, Robert. “THE ECONOMICS OF ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.” Climate Change Economics, vol. 3, no. 2, 2012, pp. 1–21. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/climchanecon.3.2.03. )


WHAT CAN YOU DO?


Remember, it's not just the companies that are at fault for using so much carbon dioxide. American consumers are also responsible. An example is fast fashion. Fast fashion is a recent trend that promotes cheap labor with harmful environmental effects, with many companies outsourcing their labor to places where labor is almost unregulated. This cuts down production costs greatly, attracting consumers.


Make sure to keep up with the news on climate change - educate yourself. There are thousands of scholarly articles on websites such as JSTOR about the effects of climate change and technology, the economy, and beyond.



WHAT AM I DOING?


Personally, I've decided to start with my closet. I hope to write a post later about sustainable fashion and the effects on the environment of fast fashion. When buying clothes, I've opted to go to the local Goodwill and thrift. There are also a couple of online stores that promote sustainability, such as Everlane and Pact that are worth checking out.




CONCLUSION

The Silicon Valley Climate Strike was a great event for the purpose of spreading awareness of climate change. Climate change IS real, and the evidence of it is undeniable. The United States is one of the leading carbon dioxide users in the world, and we are working to change that. Simple things such as spreading awareness and shopping smart are all just little steps towards a big goal - to save our planet, and our future.


Which side are you on?



Meiying (left) and I at the Silicon Valley Climate Strike!

Saratoga Pod

500 Women Scientists Saratoga Pod is a group located in Saratoga, California dedicated to promoting women in STEM.