Updated: Feb 20
Interview: Emma Zweifel - Oshkosh Sophomore - Major, Elementary Education - Basketball Manager for Oshkosh
1. What are your thoughts when you hear the claims that the earth is warming, the environment is being destroyed and that humans are the cause?
Well, I guess the first thing that comes to mind is that scientific study that came out last year that said we have about 12 left to solve the problem. Like it was a really scary thing to think about, you know. I mean, I've been going through life thinking that things are perfect. But, of course, in reality its really not. So, it's really a scary thing and right now I'm thinking about it daily. I try to think about what I can do to help a little bit. One person can make difference I hope.
On campus it isn't talked about very much. The only way I get any information is when I turn on Good Morning America or when I watch the debates. I want to have an idea about what the candidates are saying about it, so I know who to vote for. It's not a big deal on campus. Nobody really talks about it and I feel like it needs to be talked about more because it is a big deal. I mean, people aren't treating it like a big deal.
2. In your mind, what are the driving forces of climate change and environmental degradation?
I guess one thing is how we really don't know how much our actions really do affect the environment. You can tell somebody, don't drink from plastic bottles and don't litter, but then they don't see where their water bottle on the ground ends up. They say, well it's only one out of a trillion in the ocean.
So, I think it's like a lack of education about what really does happen to the environment. I know about plastic water bottles and plastic bags but not much about the ozone layer and other elements of the atmosphere. So I think if we know a little bit more we would also know what to do about it.
I know vaguely what global warming is. We touched on it in science class maybe once or twice but I feel I need to know a whole lot more.
3. Has your life been affected in any way? If so, how?
Yes. I think so. I have stopped using plastic bottles. In my dorm room I have about five or six water bottles I brought from home to replace the plastic ones. I fill them up with fountain water. Now that I'm living in a dorm I have to more conscious of garbage and whatever else we discard.
4. In your opinion, what needs to be done?
I think the big thing is educating people. People in the science fields have a lot to say but I feel that no one is asking about these problems and that is why we are not getting the information. I also believe that our President and our political leaders should be educated as well. Then they could come up with the corrections. It is sad. If we could all be educated and get on the same page then I think it would trickle down to the rest of the world. After all, it has to be a whole world effort. We can't do it by ourselves. Everyone has to be involved.
5. Do you consider yourself part of the problem or part of the solution?
I think I'm part of the problem. I mean, I've done away with 'plastic water bottles' but there are so many things I'm not aware of. I think I could change and make things better...... I guess lack of education is the big thing. I really don't know what all affects the environment. I would definitely change things if I knew what to do. I mean I know about plastic bottles and bags and composting but if there are other things I can do on a daily basis I really don't know what they are. I guess I feel like I'm half and half.
6. What do you think the long term outcome of climate change and environmental degradation will be?
Oh gosh, well.... I hope what they are saying is going to happen in twelve years isn't going to happen. I want to live a good life. I feel like the problems are so great that the solutions won't happen. It's not going to go away. I hope that it will be better. I think it will be better. I have hope that it won't be as bad as it is right now.