Does Gen-Z Actually Care About Climate Change?

Does Gen-Z Actually Care About Climate Change?

Daniela Garcia, Opinion Editor

Climate change is depicted in the media in a very dramatic way. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly a global issue that society has to deal with. Since it is a controversial topic that we have been worrying about for years, a crucial question is now being asked: does the “Gen-Z” generation really care about it? 

It isn’t easy to live as a member of the Gen-Z community, which exists in a world replete with change. All of our personal lives are submerged in a never-ending whirlpool of terrible news, drama and a constant fear of growing up. There are two clear sides to the coin – those who care and those who don’t. As a person that barely eats meat and who contributes to the end of climate change by being aware of waste at home and my carbon footprint, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if all of my peers acted in the same way. Classmate Daniel Zuloaga shared his thoughts as he explained that some people clearly don’t care about the environment. “Gen-Z doesn’t care much about climate change because it wasn’t our fault. It was the people that came before us that created the factories and all. It’s not our fault because we didn’t create all of this.” After interviewing Zuloaga, the real matter in question hit me: Gen-Z doesn’t feel responsible because we love to blame problems on others even though we have the power and ability to halt climate change. However, Gen-Z can be a stubborn and careless generation, and most find it easier to neglect the issue. This is when adults have to come in. Gen-Z can care but we still need adults to help us learn and educate ourselves to make a change.

People don’t realize the true problems that climate change can present to natural systems in the world. According to scientist Mara Grunbaum, “As the planet heats up, ice on Earth is melting at an alarming rate… Earth’s surface warms further, causing even more ice to melt.” Mara also explained that “in 2018, people produced more CO2 than in any other year in history.” These two issues may be the most substantial of all, and as much as we don’t notice them daily or go through them personally, they still disrupt earth’s systems and will cause danger in the future. When Gen-Z isn’t able to live through certain hardships, they cannot deal with the fact that these hardships actually harm people showcasing how careless we can be. I know that it’s difficult to believe something that we can’t see, but all of us have a dream of becoming successful, and we need a place to do it in. We have to stop being lazy and start caring before the issue becomes unmendable.

Issues are far in too deep for an immediate save. According to youth climate expert Anna Rose, “Humans have already warmed the Earth’s temperature by almost a degree Celsius since industrialization. In the process we’ve increased the ocean’s acidity levels, increased the number and severity of extreme weather events, and caused the sea-level to rise.” Humans have intensely hurt the globe; however, change isn’t hard. As fans of short tasks, Generation Z can take action in simple things like carpooling, eating less meat, or composting. Neglection is both a friend and a foe for teens. We love to ignore setbacks and not learn about them, but when the mess directly affects our lives and our loved ones, we act up. We need the extra push of an adult to cause a chain reaction and make us take measures. Gen Z can be seen as irresponsible from a millennial point of view, but who wasn’t lazy once in their lifetime? My generation needs a wake-up call in order to get out of bed and start changing small environmental habits before it’s too late.

The answer is, yes, we do care, just not all of us and not in the same way. Generation Z  is a proud but hardworking group. We are definitely capable of inventing, overcoming and fighting against climate change. Even though it’s not our fault, it is in our hands to learn, teach, and tackle the issue from its roots.