(Lawrence K. H / Los Angeles Times)

Opinion

Opinion: Message to President-elect Biden — Global warming

Dear President-elect Biden, Global warming is real and it shows. Caused by immense emissions of greenhouse gasses, global warming is slowly leading to greater and more severe consequences. As one of the youth that will inherit this planet, I implore you to do everything and anything you can to alleviate the negative effects of centuries…
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/haisyl-ng/" target="_self">Haisyl Ng</a>

Haisyl Ng

January 13, 2021

Dear President-elect Biden,

Global warming is real and it shows. Caused by immense emissions of greenhouse gasses, global warming is slowly leading to greater and more severe consequences. As one of the youth that will inherit this planet, I implore you to do everything and anything you can to alleviate the negative effects of centuries of human pollution. 

I know you are concerned about climate change and will actively work towards addressing this existential threat. After some study on the issue, I have found that there are some very feasible solutions that can be immediately implemented by the federal government.

 

Solution 1: The federal government should go green

One of the main sources of these greenhouse gasses is fuel-powered cars. According to National Geographic, about 80% to 90% of a vehicle’s environmental impact comes from fuel use and emissions. Remember that every day, millions and millions of people must get into their vehicles or use public transportation in order to get to school, to work, to stores and etc. As a result, these fossil fuels are continuously being released and thus polluting our atmosphere.

Because it is almost impossible to force everyone to stop using fuel-powered engines, government cars should at least be electric. Public transportation like busses and other government vehicles like post office trucks should be required to be electrically powered so that fewer greenhouse gasses can be emitted into the air.

Similarly, another way to reduce these emissions is by making sure all government buildings are powered by natural sources. Government buildings should restrict their use of fossil fuels for electricity. Instead, an effort should be made so that all government buildings rely on power sources like solar panels, wind power and other sustainable energy sources to get electricity instead of the usual and harmful choice of fossil fuels. In this way, we can somewhat control a portion of activities that are burning away our natural gases. 

 

Solution 2: Improve forest management

The consequences of global warming are disastrous, wildfires being one of them, especially in California. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in the month of September 2020 alone, there were 4,332 fires and 3,544,031 acres of US land lost to fires, a record since 2000.

Not only were there frequent fires, but these fires also took large spans of time to be controlled. These numbers will only continue to grow as hotter climate leads to drier lands which in turn makes it easier for embers to ignite the land and spread the flames extremely quickly.

In addition, with higher temperatures comes less rain, making it even harder to battle these fires without the weather’s help. These wildfires also lead to mud runoff, erosion, slope instability, possible mudslides and human and animal displacement, among other extremely devastating effects. 

In order to prevent or control these fires, I suggest that more money be sent to fund forest and vegetation management. In a conversation between President Trump, Chief of Calfire Thom Porter and California Governor Newsom recorded on the White House website, they discussed the cause of some of these wildfires.

Because of the droughts in many areas, which by the way is another problem caused by global warming, trees are lacking the moisture and water they need and these trees either dry up or die. Because these trees are lacking the moisture that helps them be more resilient and fight back against fires, they become extremely flammable and therefore susceptible to catching fire and spreading the embers faster and farther.

If more funding could go to help to plant these trees and to maintain them so that they stay healthy and properly cared for, it would greatly help combat deforestation by these fires. 

These two solutions can be acted upon on day one of your presidency. Of course, there is so much more to do, but all progress begins with the first few steps. I eagerly await to see all that you will do to help preserve our environment for the survival of future generations.

 

Sincerely,

Haisyl Ng

Los Angeles, California

Opinion: Inclusive sex ed saves lives

Opinion: Inclusive sex ed saves lives

Sex ed. To most teenagers in the U.S., these words conjure memories of awkward lectures and classmates giggling to hide embarrassment. Maybe sex ed took form in a school-wide assembly, maybe in an online course, or maybe in the span of three classes in 7th-grade...