UNH community responds to global climate crisis

Aubrey Benoit, Arts Editor

Antarctica has reached its highest temperature on record in February and scientists warn it’s a part of the global climate crisis. According to The New York Times, it broke the previous record of 63.5 degrees set in March of 2015. Experts hope Gen Z know that it’s up to them to fix what is almost permanently broken.  

Porsche Taylor, a student and activist at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) is aware of this epidemic. Taylor stressed that Gen Z – anyone born after 1997, according to Pew Research – has full responsibility to tackle the climate crisis. Taylor makes sure she recycles, takes short showers, is a vegetarian and limits herself to walking for transportation. 

On top of that, Taylor is vocal about the importance of politics.  

“It’s extremely important to be involved in politics,” she said. “Everyone should vote.”  

UNH student Alex Muto also discussed his climate involvement.  

“I don’t go out of the way to read the news, but if something like [Antarctica’s record temperature] comes up, it’s hard not to notice,” Muto said. 

Muto’s roommate Jake Sudkin added to the conversation.  

“I’m sad and want to make a change, but I’ve never been taught what to do,” Sudkin said.   

UNH journalism professor and author of “Walking to the Sun: A Journey Through America’s Energy Landscapes” Tom Haines asks young people to tune into the current climate situation. Haines encourages Gen Z to follow the news and become “students of climate change.” 

In his adventures through the American landscapes, Haines came to one conclusion: “things are out of whack,” and could sense how artificial the world has become.  

As worried as Gen Z is, Haines recommends they follow the typical suggestions: turning lights off, choose walking over driving and consuming less industrialized beefs. 

In a bigger sense, he emphasizes the importance of being politically active. Gen Z has the power to “pressure leaders to make a change,” Haines said.   

According to National Public Radio (NPR), BBC and the UN World Meteorological Organization, this past decade is the hottest decade ever recorded, leaving the northern artic to melt at aggressive increments.   

Antarctica is out of the natural realm of the atmosphere and even if well-understood physics transition away from greenhouse gas emissions, Gen Z still faces a chronic crisis. 

“Around 87 percent of glaciers along the peninsula’s west coast have retreated [in the past 50 years],” according to The Washington Post. Mary Albert, a glaciologist at Dartmouth College, says it’s “too late to stop [retreating glaciers].”  

As remarkable as this process is, Albert is fearful for Gen Z. Albert hopes Gen Z limits the burning of fossil fuels.  

“We don’t have to resort to cavemen technology for energy. We have solar panels and even electric cars right in front of us,” Albert said.   

Albert added more pressure on Gen Z by saying it is “absolutely” up to them to shape the future. It is difficult to find true information from the web, but Albert knows there is “power in your own hands to look up peer-reviewed documents and educate yourself.”