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Climate Change Interview 1: Music Teacher from Toledo

2019: Mary Kihslinger - Silent Generation - Retired Music Professor, University of Toledo for 32 years - French Horn musician Toledo Symphony - Dog Trainer

Autumn Leaves, Fall

1. What are your thoughts when you hear that the climate is warming, the environment is being destroyed and that humans are causing it?

"I definitely believe it is happening and it's depressing. My thought is that if everyone did some things we could make it better. I guess I've always been someone who has tried to fix things."

2. What are the forces that drive climate change and environmental degradation?

"People always want to have things easier. They want to employ the least effort possible. That is a big driver, number one. Many of the things we've created have made it more convenient but certainly destroy the environment. And then, manufacturers push these convenience products because they want to sell more and more product. It's the whole consumer thing. People aren't willing to work at anything anymore. I suppose it is because people don't seem to have time anymore."

3. Has your life been affected in any way by climate change and environmental degradation?

"I'm sure it has. Air pollution is one thing for sure. I don't think the food we eat is as good as it used to be and that affects my health. It not the same as a hurricane in the Bahamas but we did have a huge water crisis here in Toledo in 2014. We couldn't drink the water nor could we use it for showering. That made an impression, believe me. It was caused by cryptosporidium which got into the water supply and there is no filter that can take that out.

There were theories that it was caused by runoffs from farms and fields into the lake. Others said that when climate is warmer the algae grows more rapidly."

4. What needs to be done?

"You know I see things happening or maybe I'm just noticing it more, but honestly more things are happening that help. I see a lot of things on Facebook that are geared toward improving the situation with the environment. There are many new products that will help do away with plastics."

"I think people need to become aware of what's going on. There are a lot of people who don't believe it and many others that just say there is nothing we can do about it anyway. 'We are doomed.' That's an attitude I see. It's not going to make any difference. So, I think education has to be first because if you don't believe it's happening you aren't going to do anything about it. Then, you have to convince people that doing five or six different things in their life does make a difference."

5. Do you consider yourself part of the problem or part of the solution?

"Mostly part of the problem although I'm working on changing things. I feel guilty now every time I open a plastic bag. I still can't get away from using those things. I am definitely wasteful - oh my goodness. Yup."

6. What do you think the long term outcome of climate change and environmental degradation will be?

"Well.... the doom and gloom part of me says at some point in the future..... we'll be done. Nature will just die because all the things that have built up. There are just too many people who aren't convinced that they need to do something. It's pretty scary when you think about it. By the time people really realize that it is true.... it's too late. That's the way it is.


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