The devastating impacts of climate change puts the whole world at risk

Students advocate for change to lessen threat of natural disasters

By Zeinab Rakhshandehroo

Homes destroyed, cities ravaged and hundreds of deaths. These are the aftermaths of natural disasters, which will only increase worldwide, according to the United Nations

There have been disastrous floods in Pakistan and many parts of Africa, wildfires in Afghanistan and Russia and a multitude of other natural crises in other countries around the world according to NASA. A severe heat wave hit California in September, directly impacting HHS students. These unnatural weather patterns and events are due to climate change, Climate Change Initiative president, junior Sahasra Akula said.

Natural disasters around the world can lead to severe humanitarian crises, junior,  Red Cross president Aditi Jayanth said. 

“Natural disasters, such as earthquakes or hurricanes, uproot the lives of people,” Jayanth said. “This impacts our world as a whole because it’s changing how we live our lives. There are heat waves now, and there are a lot more concerns regarding hurricanes due to rising water levels.”

Floods in Pakistan are a visible example of climate change’s impact on the world.
(Photo from NPR)

Most recently, floods in Pakistan have killed more than 1600 people and destroyed thousands of homes, according to The Red Cross.

These worldwide effects put California residents at risk as well, Climate Change Initiative officer, sophomore Trisha Liu said. Cities in California broke a multitude of heat records in September, with Sacramento reaching a high of 116 degrees, according to CNN. These heat waves increase the severity of wildfires, causing many people to potentially lose their homes and their lives.

“Wildfires have become a bigger threat to California and our area because of the warming weather and the drought we’re in, so it definitely impacts [the community]” Liu said. 

Many school activities and sports have been canceled or rescheduled due to the heat wave. However, people are taking action to prepare and protect people against the effects of these increasing natural disasters, Jayanth said. The Red Cross works to assist people to set up for disasters, such as how to prepare for an earthquake and how to be safe in a fire, Jayanth said.

Students  can also work to hinder the threat of natural disasters and impact of climate change all around the world by doing small things in their community, Green Ops Vice-President, senior Katherine Xu said.

“The biggest factors that are causing climate change are definitely large factories, which are more difficult for one person to change,” Xu said. “But individuals can help work [on negating it] through small things such as planting more trees and disposing trash.”

There are a multitude of actions students can take to curb the effects of climate change, junior, Green Ops treasurer Jacob Chen said.

“There’s huge consumption of meat here, which releases a lot of greenhouse gasses, so [people should] watch what they eat,” Chen said. “We also need to be more resourceful and watch what we buy, since American culture is all about buying everything. We should limit what we buy because it can end up in a landfill.”

Although it may seem that these small actions do not make much of a difference, if everyone does their part, changes can be made, Climate Change Initiative officer, junior Katie Liu said.

“If everyone agrees to do their own part, it can make a big impact,” Liu said. “But if no one really cares about it, then no change [can happen.]”

Overall, it is vital that people care about the issue, Akula said.

“Climate change has a lot to do with how people have lost some care for the earth,” Akula said. “We’re always so busy with our daily life that it [may be] the last thing we think about. That carelessness is impacting our environment and causing natural disasters like this.”