One of the most interesting things to have come out of COP26 is the pledge between twenty countries to end overseas fossil fuels projects. What’s most interesting is that powerful countries that have polluted the most CO2 emissions still benefit from this proposal, for instance, the UK is still able to continue their overseas gasfield in Mozambique. Even though this construction is highly controversial, and most definitely defeats the purpose of lower carbon emissions and usage of fossil fuels, they can do so because they have a lot of power. Even though these countries have pledged to lower their fossil fuels by a significant amount, they still have positioned themselves into a spot that is profitable for them. It calls into question if COP is effective if powerful countries can do what fits them best.
I, like a lot of people, don’t know much about nuclear energy. I’ve heard arguments for nuclear energy and that’s the only way that will allow for a smooth and reliable transition towards sustainable energy consumption. However, I’ve also heard that nuclear energy isn’t that sustainable and that it is only a little less harmful than gas with lots of issues of its own. Nuclear energy has to be released from an atom, but there are huge amounts of energy. European nations like Lithuania, France, and Slovakia obtain most of their energy from nuclear energy. They also do not pollute the air with greenhouse gases, which many people want to check off their boxes in moving towards a more sustainable future. We have already established that wind and solar will not generate enough electricity for the world, but nuclear energy might get us to a more sustainable future faster.
NPR was the news source that I choose because it is the news source that I listen to the most and I wanted to see where they would fall on the chart. The media bias site showed that NPR was mostly analysis or a mix of opinion with reporting and analysis, skewing slightly left. They had a reliability of 46.23 and a bias of -4.73. Their content is mostly neutral however I thought they would have skewed left rather than just slightly left because typically their content follows a more “liberal agenda.” From previous personal experience their reliability at covering a wide range of topics is not surprising. They have many ways to access their news via on TV, podcasts, or online and also have a transparency page that allows readers to figure out NPR’s sources. If the sources are anonymous there is a detailed relationship of the source to the article.
Cutting down fossil fuel emissions from cars might seem harsh due to individual’s perception that cars are a necessity for freedom. American individualism has rooted itself into the very core of America yet these ideals do not factor in that America as a whole is suffering from fossil fuel emissions. Does American individualism outweigh the health risks, greenhouse gases, and pollutants that affect Americans as a whole? We realize that the affordability to purchase an electric car is not plausible for everyone however, electric cars are becoming cheaper and innovations to gasoline cars are being made to ensure more efficiency in gas usage. Although in more rural counties the consumer, despite wanting to make a change, cannot justify getting an electric car as many companies probably will not place charging stations there because of the lack of profit. One way to get rid of this disadvantage is to harness solar power to cut down fossil fuel intake. This is our future, we must take action for this big impact on our environment; we must demand continued modifications of cars to cut down emissions.
In her recent opinion piece (“Community Voices: Don’t bite the county that feeds you,” July 11), state Sen. Shannon Grove argues that people who oppose continued oil drilling in Kern County are “out of touch” with what our county needs; the reality is what we need most is a responsible transition away from fossil fuels, to protect our health, our climate, and our economy.
Climate change is not a made-up problem or something far off in the future. Our community is already experiencing extreme weather from climate change, as well as the pollution that the oil industry dumps into our air and water every day. The American Lung Association rates the county an F in ozone and particle pollution. The cost of the destruction of health is nowhere near the $200 million the oil and gas industry paid the county for, with health risks including cancer, pre-term births, and over 30% of kids under 17 diagnosed with asthma. The oil industry is on its way out, and transitioning to clean energy is inevitable; it’s happening right here whether we like it or not.
Kern County can either embrace its role as a leader in energy and meet the challenge of an economic transition to clean energy or continue with business as usual, relying on a single source of revenue and allowing oil executives to reap massive financial benefits while our community suffers from toxic air and water left behind. Elected officials who want to keep us in the past are the ones who are really out of touch with what Kern County needs.
-Mercedes Macias, Tehachapi
Today, I took a test on 40 basic characters for Chinese.