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My Blue Youth Experience

Environment   Oct 31, 2016 by Lexi Stein

Though I was familiar with the concept of climate change, before joining this project I didn't have much of an understanding of how it is affecting so many people from across the globe. Through discussion and interactions with people from all different countries, I have expanded my point of view exponentially. 

This project has made me realise the importance of extending a helping hand to those in need. Regardless of whether climate change was solely caused by mankind, or whether it is part of the natural cycle of the earth, the fact remains that people across the world are struggling with the effects of climate change. From the glacier melts in northern Canada and Alaska to water shortages in South America, it is apparent that some adaptations must be made to our style of living across the globe if we are to carry on. 

I strongly disagree with the excessive taxation of citizens in place of creative solutions, simply because if citizens are annoyed about a tax, they will not be sympathetic to the cause. I do, however, believe in financial encouragement to make more eco-friendly choices; if it costs less, or makes the most financial sense to buy and support eco-friendly products, people will. An example of this would be financial incentives for farmers to create more organic matter to sequester more carbon, or perhaps a tax break for companies that guarantee that their products (especially household appliances) will last a certain amount of time (obviously, individuals will buy the one that last longer, meaning fewer products will be thrown into the landfill). 

Technology is an incredible thing, and in situations like this, I believe it is an area that could help us a great deal. From more eco-friendly products in developed nations to systems that supply clean drinking water to developing countries, there are so many different struggles that can be minimised with more innovative technology. Let's continue to work with and support, not only scientists but individuals with first-hand experience in certain issues to create technology that is sustainable and progressive. 

The main struggle we face is how to find sustainable resources without sabotaging the economy. There are many things we as a nation could do for the environment, but the trick is to keep the balance between the environment and the economy. For example, shifting away from fossil fuels and moving towards a sustainable source of clean energy would be a great idea, however just "shutting off the switch" is not an option because the Oil Industry is one of the main pillars of not only the Albertan but the Canadian economy. It is doable, but it is not an easy fix. 

Overall, I think the main thing we need to work on is spreading awareness about the struggles people and communities are facing with climate change. Many people (not just in developed nations, but developing nations as well) don't seem to know much about climate change, and if they do, many of them don't seem to care unless it's staring them right in the face. This is a huge problem! Awareness is key to solving this issue; if people are aware, at least there is a conversation happening and ideas are being discussed. Even if people disagree with each other (which is inevitable) at least their ideas are on the table. 

Thank you for inviting me to be apart of this amazing experience, and the best of luck in Morocco!   

~Lexi Stein of Alberta, Canada

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