Final Project

For my final project, I decided to create a children’s book about climate change. The book is ultimately a story about a 10-year-old boy named Jake who hears the term “climate change” and doesn’t know what it means. Curious about this issue, Jake decides to go on an adventure to find out about exactly what it is. Jake’s first stop is in Antarctica where he meets a polar bear who is sad because his play ground (the glaciers) is melting. The polar bear explains to Jake about why the glaciers are melting, and then teaches him about the difference between weather and climate change.

Jake’s next stop is in the rain forest where he meets a bird who is sad because his favorite tree is gone. The bird explains to Jake about the natural wildfires and how people chop down the trees to make paper and other resources. The bird then explains to Jake how climate change effects both animals and people, and how climate change is happening all over the world.

Jake’s last stop is at the coral reef, where he meets a sea turtle who talks to him about pollution in our oceans and how climate change is effecting the natural sea levels and acidity in the ocean. The sea turtle then explains to Jake that we can’t prevent climate change from happening, but what we can do is talk to our friends and family about it and do what we can to protect our environment.

Jake then returns home to his parents for help in spreading the word about what climate change is, and how they can make a positive change. Jake takes all of the lessons he learned from his friends and makes an impact.

The last couple pages of the story are in the future and Jake is 80 years old, and the environment is in better condition because of the collective efforts of everyone.

I decided to create a children’s book because we talked about how important it is to start educating kids in school about the issue of climate change. This book will answer the fundamental questions I can imagine many kids would have, and it is still fun and exciting at the same time. I also decided to have Jake befriend animals on his adventure instead of people because we never really addressed how climate change effects animals in our class.

Final Project

My final project involves a short story involving cli-fi events that I titled “A New Dawn”. The story is told from a first person point of view, and involves the central character, named John, dealing with a decision that could very well lead to his execution. In debating over the decision, he contemplates the events that lead him to his current plight, as well as how they defined him, and what he should do for the future. Born in Eugene, OR in 1995, John describes the events that transpired around him as he aged, with him first noticing climate changes effects while he attended college at the University of Oregon. As the effects of climate change being to accelerate, he witnesses the country go through vast changes due to intense hurricanes ravaging the east coast, well as extreme drought plaguing the Southwest. The U.S. government eventually closes the border with Mexico due to the influx of refugees, and martial law is declared as protests are rampant, and the water crisis continues to accelerate.

Conflicts between nations become more amplified as shortages of food and water cause nations to become more aggressive. The U.S. government, in an effort to deflect public attention away from itself and give the people something to focus their frustration at, begins a propaganda campaign in order to go to war, with the help of corporations and defense contractors. The Third World War begins, and military scientists secretly initiate a program known as Project Helios, which involves genetically modifying soldiers with plant DNA in order to have energy come from Photosynthesis, instead of food, which is currently in extreme shortage. John is selected as a candidate for the initiative, and with the change, loses part of his humanity in the process. The serum also gives enhanced strength, speed, and extremely hardened skin, to plant exteriors. The project is successful, and the new soldiers are enormously effective in waging war, however, numerous war crimes and atrocities are committed during the conflict, with John taking part in a great deal of them. Contine reading

Keep Calm & Carry On

When brainstorming ideas for this project, I started to think about how climate change affects me and I came to the conclusion that the reason I check the weather each morning is to decide what to wear that day. I moved from San Francisco to Eugene and my biggest fear was not being able to adjust my wardrobe to the weather. Whenever I go on vacation, I spend roughly three weeks researching past weather patterns of the location I’m going to so that I can pack accordingly. I wish that was an exaggeration, but yes, I’m that neurotic.

So, I tried to think of a way to connect my vision of the future after climate change to my interests and I decided to write a fashion/lifestyle blog set in 2094. I created Samantha Balcorn: age 26, Portland resident and a magazine editor. Because of the melting icecaps from the north, I’ve set Portland to now be a beach town. In the posts, I depict a scenarios such as how humans eat, be entertained, communicate, etc.

My goal of this project was to give a hopeful outlook on what can happen after climate change. As I’ve expressed in previous posts and during class time, I truly believe that everything will be OK. The world has experienced catastrophes of all calibers – natural disasters, social injustice, financial failures – and we’re still living our lives well. The human race has been able to evolve and adapt over the course of its existence, and will continue to do so. Sure, there will be struggle in the midst of this change, but I don’t think that it will be the end.

Contine reading

Polly the Polar Bear

For my Final Project I wanted to use an animal that is endangered due to climate change, so I used Polar Bears. Since I feel like a majority of the stories we read about climate change fail to talk about the many animals that are affected by climate change conditions and are voiceless and helpless to what’s going on around them. But, I tried to make my short story as playful as possible because although most of the stories we read have a distinct ominous tone, I didn’t want mine to be completely depressing. So you could say my short story is somewhere between a children’s and an adult book, so I guess you could say it is a “young adult” story. The premise of my story is that it is the year 2075 and Polly is the last Polar Bear to live on this earth, because of the rareness of her species she gets captured and further becomes an exhibit at the zoo. As she struggles with the journey of waking up in a counterfeit Antarctica dazed and confused, to accepting that she is becoming an exhibit with hundreds of people finding joy and hope in her existence. Here is a small preview:

“Was I finally going to be able to reunite with the people I longed for in my lonely solitude of the desolate sanctuary of ice that would eventually melt. I started gaining consciousness, and as my eyes wandered to this plethora of white light all around, I faintly saw my mother in the distance, crawling towards me. I became overwhelmed with joy, and complete bliss, I hadn’t seen her since the huge wipe out of my entire family and fellow Polar Bears of the community in what was supposed to be winter of 2062, with nothing but an overabundance of sunshine. I ran towards her, and she was coming towards me looking as happy as I was, as we became closer and closer I reached out my hands and SMACK, I immediately fell to the floor with an impending headache that was quite the doozy. As I leaned back up, I saw again what I thought was my mother in the flesh, so I reached out my arms again to sadly become acquaint with nothing more than a wall of transparency glaring back at me”

Final Project

For my final project I decided to create a video diary written from the perspective of a man living in the year 2115. The video features footage of the Earth’s climate changing, accompanied by a voice over of the diary entry. The man comments on how our current society dealt with climate change, and how our lack of action lead to the restructuring of the entire world’s climate and the displacement of the human race. The format of Diary of an Interesting Year was my inspiration for this project, but I wanted to add a layer of video to create, what I believe, is a more impactful piece of Cli-Fi.

I call my project The World Now. Here’s an excerpt:

Contine reading

The Polar Bear Express

For my final project I decided to create an online children’s book. I wanted to make a children’s because I love children and I think they should start to learn about climate change at a young age. I decided to make the book online because technology is becoming bigger and better everyday with online textbooks/newspapers/magazines and it saves paper. I decided to create a story about a kid named Jack who loves polar bears and wants to visit them in the Arctic because what kid does not like polar bears. One night Jack wakes up in the middle of the night from train sounds coming from outside his house. He goes outside and there is a train with a conductor standing there to greet him. He tells him the train is there to pick him up to go see the polar bears in the Arctic with all the other kids who love polar bears. They travel to the Arctic and they end up seeing the ice melting and not many polar bears. The conductor explains that the ice is melting because our earth is becoming too hot because of all the gasses that are being released from cars, trains, buses, factories, and many more. The conductor tells them somethings they can do around the house to help save our environment and the polar bears. The kids come back and tell their teachers and friends what they learned from the trip and the things they can do to help save the environment. I want this book to teach younger kids about climate change in a simple way and by including polar bears it helps them realize what is happening because all kids love polar bears.

Final Project

For my final project I decided to write a journal from the perspective of a girl named Hailey. The story is set in the year 2073 and Hailey, along with her family, is dealing with a rapidly rising sea level. The sea has already risen to the point where new enormous buildings had to be created to house all the people on the coastlines. The journals detail her day-to-day life and include many struggles and plot twists. I decided to create a journal because I enjoy this format and really liked the style of writing in Diary of an Interesting Year. Here is a journal entry from my final project: Contine reading

Final Project: 3012

For my final project, I placed my story in year 3012 when the Earth is on its last leg. The planet is experiencing a drastic change in conditions and the nation is facing a shift in governmental control. My story focuses on a middle class family’s experiences in 3012.  A young girl, Caroline, tries to do whatever it takes to survive but she will soon find out she is out of luck. This is an excerpt from the text, “The cop chased them and Caroline tried to explain to him that everything was okay, but he did not care. Max was frozen with uncontrollable fear. Without hesitation the cop shot Max in the head, showing Caroline the consequences about population control.”

I was trying to accomplish a piece of writing that showed the worst case scenarios that the Earth could face because of climate change. It would affect not only the environment, but the people as well. Societies would change, favoring one group over the other and resources would become prioritized. Although this story takes place far into the future, anything is a possibility if we don’t try to change. I decided to create this story because talking about climate change reminded me of all the commotion in 2012 when the “world was going to end.” Since the world didn’t end in 2012, I created a possible scenario of when it would end in 3012.

Contine reading

Fun with FutureCoast

I had a lot of fun on I got to make my own timeline using the voice-mail messages from the people in my class, including myself. I named my timeline “Hot and Wet”. I know, not a very imaginative name for a timeline. However, I figured I should be rather straightforward about the future I had in mind. Basically, this is a future for Earth where global temperatures have increased at a semi-constant rate over the years. This has led to almost all the ice in the world melting, which has resulted in the flooding of most coastal areas around the globe. Technology level has also increased, with a more even gap between green-tech and fossil fuel tech. My vision for the future has been slightly influenced by some disaster movies and an article I read in National Geographic. However, if the human race continues on the energy using trend that it has been on for the past few decades, then this could be a likely global weirding scenario for us in the future.

Anyway, back to FutureCoast. I had a great time listening to all of the recordings on the site, not only from within my class but also from without. I admit, there were some voice-mail messages that I felt were a bit underwhelming. I believe that a recording about getting into a hovercraft accident is a bit unoriginal. That’s not even taking into account that one might not survive being in a hovercraft accident. Anyway, there were some ideas for the future that I liked. A theme park about glaciers in a world without natural ice is quite imaginative. I believe that this FutureCoast project will become very popular, even to those not in the climate change community.

October 15, 2047

Instead of writing one short Cli-Fi story I chose to make my final project into a newspaper. This futuristic newspaper is dated October 15, 2047. It features everything a normal newspaper would such as articles, advertisements, photos, and a comic strip. All the articles I wrote describe how the world is being affected by climate change. Some of these articles are completely fabricated but others have a large possibly to actually occur in the future around the time of 2047. Although, I tried to make the newspaper somewhat realistic. Here is an example of one advertisement I created and included in my newspaper:


I thought it was important to incorporate some hope into my newspaper not just negative stories. Most of the stories we read in class had a negative ending due to climate change and I wanted to show that there still is some hope for the future. I think the future is going to revolve around technology way more than it does today so I created this ad to show the possible technological advances we could have. Making futuristic voicemails is what inspired me to write a newspaper. I’ve created newspapers before for other classes and have always found the process of making them really fun and creative. I originally had the idea to write a story about one rare aquarium in the world that is home to the last living shark. Instead, I turned this story into an article for the front page of my newspaper. Deciding to write a newspaper was a good idea because I like writing a bunch of mini works of Cli-Fi in order to make one large project. I was able to incorporate multiple plot ideas I had instead of just focusing on one. Plus, I feel like this work of Cli-Fi will be very affective to those who read it because it causes people to think. If you were to read this newspaper on October 15, 2047 would you be okay with the headlines?



Survival of the Fittest

I decided to write a short narrative revolving around a married couple named Brenton and Chanel who have recently moved to Portland, Oregon from California. They decided to move due to a couple of extreme climate change disasters. The narrative details their journey to Portland and once they have finally moved, they have to cope with new living situations that are extremely inconvenient and nothing like they had originally expected. Portland is also going through some serious effects of climate change which Brenton and Chanel were not aware of so this new move is more of a struggle than anticipated. This is the hardest struggle they have had to endure as a couple and after everything that has taken place during the past few weeks, they are left to wonder if they can still survive in such an unpredictable world.

I decided to create this narrative because I felt like the main events in my short story directly correlate with issues regarding climate change. I feel like Brenton and Chanel’s story sum up the way climate change fiction is portrayed. With this narrative I am trying to evoke similar emotions that I feel when I read intense and extreme climate change stories. I hope to raise more awareness of the possible repercussions of climate change and that climate change is indeed a serious issue that is happening as people read my narrative. I ultimately wish to create a desire to make a change or atleast contribute to current climate change preventative action groups and organizations. I really hope that people can read my narrative and come together and have their voices reach other folks in the community.

“The atmosphere was not welcoming, nor did it seem safe, but they had no other option. Where else would they go, especially considering that they had no family or friends on this side of the toxic infested country. They had no way of contacting their families either, who knew if they were still alive. The thought of their loved ones being engulfed by the ongoing daily catastrophes made Brenton’s heart drop to his stomach. But he could not let these dreadful thoughts distract him, he had to find safe ground for Chanel and him. He needed to make sure she was taken care of, if he could take care of her. There was barely any place to stay here. Overpopulation seemed to have taken it’s toll on this city and resources were scarce. How in the world would they survive? He heard an uproar of voices nearby and his attention immediately turned to the commotion…”

The New Oregon Trail

My work of climate change fiction takes it inspiration from the classic 8-bit video game, The Oregon Trail. My goal with this project is to design a video game that is both fun to play, but also is informative, educational, and adheres to the constructed genre expectations that we created in class for Climate Change Fiction. For the purpose of the project, and due to my lack of drawing ability, I am going to focus more on the plot and setting as opposed to the gameplay and visuals. The game will hold true to its predecessor and be based on text commands in order to venture through the game.


I remember growing up and playing the Oregon Trail video game in elementary and middle school. I thought it was just a cheesy game that Oregon students played during their grade school years to help them better understand the Oregon Trail. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered that the game was widely popular all over the country and was considered a cult classic. This was an example of an educational video game that was popular. It was both fun to play and informative, which was my overall goal with this project. The original Oregon Trail game was released in 1971, and this could be an idea for an update that is both pertinent and helps educate the up and coming youth about climate change.

Brief Excerpt: My vision with this game, and something that will make it unique is that it will not be the same experience every time. You will start in the same location, the same year, and travel to the same location, but much like the weather and climate change, it will be entirely unpredictable. One journey you may face multiple horrific weather events that ravage your food supplies, caravan, and animals. Others you may experience various bouts of disease that once may have seemingly been things of the past. Bouts of smallpox, yellow fever, and other diseases run rampant in this world and medication for them is not cheap. You can’t protect yourself against them all, so you must make a wise prediction about what you may encounter.

Gone are the Glaciers

Originally, I had planned to attempt to write my own “Athabasca Story”. After weeks of brainstorming for an idea that stuck and that I felt would be a convincing native tale that pertained to climate change, I have decided to change the direction with which I intend to take my fiction project. As I began to write the outer context that I had planned to situate my native allegory, I found that the voice I had been narrating with flowed much more smoothly than it had when I sought to write with a style tht=at I am not very familiar with. The “native” parts that I began to write were neither convincing, nor effective in communicating the ancientness that I had been trying to portray. Instead, I have embarked on a short story that is still set in the future, but is also rooted in the not-too-distant future of the Alaskan landscape. I chose to set my story in this context so that I could encompass the melting of the glaciers that is presently occurring in that area. I feel that we haven’t held much discussion about this particular aspect of climate change, I hope to try my hand at creative climate change fiction in this capacity. The introduction that I have tentatively completed so far reads as follows:

“The yearbook reads: “The Alokee Tribe Graduating Class of 2180”. Kayla runs her hand over the leather cover of her new yearbook, as she reminisces on the times she had with her peers both in school, and in downtown Anchorage on the weekends. As she aimlessly wanders the vacated hallways of her high school, an old newspaper clipping in the trophy case catches her eye. The photograph under the headline obviously shows her beloved town of Anchorage, and yet the surrounding landscape seems to be completely wrong. From every angle, the photograph shows what seems to be immensely thick, purely white ice stretching all the way to the horizon, covering what are now fields of growing wheat. Utterly confused by such an unsettlingly beautiful terrain, Kayla gingerly opens the trophy case to get a better look at the clipping. Kayla glances over both of her shoulders before carefully unpinning the newspaper clipping to slip it into her back packet, vowing to research the vast sheets of ice that clearly used to dominate the Anchorage area.

Upon her arrival at home, Kayla can smell the warm aroma of cinnamon and vanilla, a telltale sign that Grandmother is baking her favorite dessert. She opens the front door to be greeted as usual by three excitable, perfectly groomed husky dogs, each with their own lively demeanor. After crouching down to greet her beloved friends, Kayla’s nose leads her to the kitchen where Grandmother has just set out a steaming plate of cookies. Kayla takes a seat at the counter, pulling the newspaper clip out of her pocket before sliding it across the counter before her guardian, and best friend. With a twinkle of recognition in her creased eyes, and a slight smile playing across her weathered lips, Grandmother seems to lose herself in a memory that she has not revisited for many years, a memory of gazing across the ice that has since abandoned the barren Alaskan landscape.”


The Treasure Hunter

The Treasure Hunter is a short story I created that follows a young female character Jessie in her endeavor to discover what the world used to be like before 2070. While the adults of this time attempt to convince the diminishing number of children that the dying world is beautiful and a forever-luxurious place, Jessie challenges this view and goes searching for the well-hidden answers. When she finds out the world is coming to an inevitable end Jessie has to consider whether it is better to tell the truth and warn her fellow classmates or let them live in peace and die in an uneducated comfort.


The reason I chose a storyline like this was to highlight our own society and how ignorant we are in ignoring the problems that occur in the world. While this class has opened my eyes to climate change I know there are still a lot of people out there who just wipe climate change under the carpet and choose to ignore what is happening. I hope this opens some eyes and makes some people consider that we need to address climate change now as Jessie questions the reader in their reasoning for not leaving a better life for her and our future generations.


“Did you ever awaken to the sound of laughter? My guess is no. My guess is the machines woke you up easily enough. That over the years they crept and crawled and penetrated through your micro pores. I’m sure they entered your bloodstream and poisoned your mind. I bet that’s how it began, that they brainwashed you into building bigger and better technology, obsessing over it until our earth decided to finally fight back. That’s my guess at least, but then again what would I know, its not as if you actually believed we would survive or in any case cared about what would happen to us.”

“The Officials” Short Story Project

For this project our goal was to create a short story that appeals to every emotion ranging from sad, intense, exciting, and leave readers with hope since the topic of global warming can be incredibly pessimistic. The outline of our story, “The Officials”, is based in the year 2028 from the perspective of a twenty year old girl who is traveling across the country with her two younger brothers. Since we know that global warming issues will start effecting us in our near future and we tend to believe that it won’t happen in our lifetime we made the story have conflicts occur sooner. We have severe weather changes occur along with lack of basic resources like water disappear earlier than the near future.

One aspect of global warming that stuck out to me specifically was the idea of regulations being made that restrict individuals basic rights. So the title of our story is the name of the people who are going around making families smaller (leaving the readers wondering where they take the people they take) so that they can “rebuild” the nation. With the limited resources left they have to choose who is worth surviving which creates emotional scenes throughout the story.

“These men, these hunters, they lurk at night just like they are creeping up on deer, and at a snap of a finger, shoot them down. But in this new world we are the helpless deer. We can run and hide for only so long.”

This is part of the story where our main goal is to appeal to the readers on a more emotional level where they can try really imagine what is going on. We want our story to be different than the typical running from a natural disaster and more about running from a corrupt government plan.

The Unofficials

The short story that Brooke Tasker and I wrote takes place in 2028. It is called The Unofficials and is centered on a world where there is a limit on how many children a family can have because of lack of resources. We decided to write a story with this as the main idea because it is unique in comparison to the other stories that we read throughout the quarter. Most of them focused on some sort of disaster and while our story includes issues due to climate change, the main effect global warming has on the story is causing a huge lack of resources resulting in a limit of how many children a family is able to have. This is a very concerning and relatable issue because it will encourage people to think about their own lives in families if they were put in that situation

We decided to write the story in first person and in the format of a journal in order to try and connect to the audience more. In past readings this quarter, many of the people in our class felt that the stories written this way had a much greater emotional impact and that was the effect that we were trying to achieve. Climate change fiction is responsible for getting through to peoples emotions to get them to want to help the cause of climate change and we wanted our story to be an example of this in both the way it was written and the storyline itself.

““The Officials” are what they are called, but in simpler terms they are the executors. These men, these hunters, they lurk at night just like they are creeping up on deer, and at a snap of a finger, take them down. But in this new world we are the helpless deer.”

The quote above is just a small portion of the story that captures the essence of the situation these “Unofficials” are in.

Climate Change Housewives

I am personally really interested in television and how TV shows are written and created. For this final project, I chose to adapt the all American ABC program Desperate Housewives. Desperate Housewives is a primetime television series that depicts middle class families in the suburbs. I decided to take the idea of family and friends in a close-knit community, but place them in a climate-changed world.

I chose to write the pilot script of a new television show that takes place in 2046 suburbia. The characters are facing different and new challenges because suburbia no longer exists in the lavish housewife way. Women are struggling to gather water and feed their families because of the uncontrollable wildfire that just ran across the Midwest. The only way for a once successful businessman to provide for his family is by spending hours working in the fields. It is still called the fields even though it is now burnt down to nothing. It is a man’s job to try to clean and clear the area, so harvesting can hopefully begin again. I think writing a pilot script is an interesting way to tell a story because it allows for the reader to understand the characters and the way they live.

Penelope Owen is a young married woman living on Jasmine Way who is the narrator in the entire series. At the beginning of the pilot episode Penelope commits suicide and the reason is unknown to everyone including her husband. She says, “Normally there’s nothing exciting about my life, but that all changed last Tuesday. It was a typical day at first. I went to the well for water, washed my hair, and made my husband a sardine sandwich. I spent the day as I had spent any other day since the Miranda wildfire. It was so shocking when late last Tuesday I decided to take a piece of coarse rope, tie it around the banister, and let my feet come out from under me” (Salcido 1). This is how the first episode begins of my climate change housewife television series. I wanted to catch the script reader on the first page because a viewer can lose interest if something doesn’t happen in the first three minutes of a TV show.

Writing this script has been entertaining, but also challenging because I had to incorporate elements that I had not thought about like camera direction and scene. I had to really think about how I wanted the scenes to look and the direction I wanted to go.

A Climate Change Bike Ride

I had a very interesting conversation about climate change with my two friends yesterday while we rode our bikes throughout Eugene. It all started when my friend Andrew remarked, “Wow. I can’t believe it’s March and it’s this beautiful outside. Maybe global warming isn’t so bad?” The three of us let out a chuckle as we pedaled along the Willamette river.

That comment sparked an hour long discussion about pollution, global economics, rising sea levels, and the agriculture industry, and how they all pertain to global warming. I told them about a video I saw recently from the documentary Chasing Ice that captured the largest glacier calving ever filmed. Over the course of a 77 minute time-lapse, a Manhattan-sized glacier calves and rushes into the sea. The video left me breathless because it truly captured the awesome power and scale of mother nature. I used this video to explain the potential impacts that global warming could have on glaciers worldwide, and how a rising sea-level would be catastrophic to most of the world’s population.

My friend Damon interrupted and asked, “Isn’t the sea-level only going to rise like 2 meters? That doesn’t see like that much.” I told him about a recent Vice HBO episode that chronicled global warming’s effects on the glaciers of Antartica, specifically the Thwaites glacier located on the West coast of the continent. Scientists have concluded that the Thwaites glacier is melting at an extremely fast rate and will detach from the continent, raising the global sea level by 1 meter. This single glacier, with a diameter of around 21km, has the power to remap the entire planet. According to VICE, a 1 meter sea-level rise will put around 17% of Bangladesh and most of the southern tip of Florida underwater. To put that into more understandable terms, a scientist remarks, “Sea-level rise will create over 300 million climate change refugees, that will need to be taken care of somehow.”

Damon’s eyes widened when I told him that last fact. He remarked, “There is no way that the world could support 300 million refugees without a drastic lifestyle change of every person on the planet.” He went on to talk about how we, especially Americans, have not been living within our means. He talked about how society has created an unsustainable demand for food and fossil fuels, which in turn has spearheaded pollution and climate change. It was interesting to discuss how our own lifestyles have propelled climate change, and the only way to change thins was to look no further than ourselves.

We tried to end the conversation by trying to find any positives around climate change. It was Andrew who said, “Global warming is going to define our generation, and how we react to it will determine the fate of the entire human race. It is scary, but I find that we constantly underestimate the vigor and adaptability of the human race. We’ll give it our best shot. I know we will.”


Hope for the Future

The meeting our class attended on Friday was really quite eye opening. I actually did not know that Bill McKibben had been arrested several times during his climate activism, and it was very interesting hearing his thoughts and perspectives on the issue in person. He brought up a lot of points that have me worried about the future in mitigating climate change, and the obstacles that those who wish to mitigate climate change face. Money and lobbying play a huge role in the U.S. political system, and a lot of policy directives that Congress enacts come from corporate and lobbying interests. He brought up specific pair of brothers that seem to be playing a bigger and bigger role in our legislative process. The Koch brothers, who made their fortune and have amassed a huge amount of wealth in the fossil fuel industry, have been active in the U.S. political lobbying system for a long time, but with the recent supreme court decisions like Citizens United vs. FEC and McCutcheon vs FEC, the flow of money in the form of campaign contributions and political donations has skyrocketed. The Koch brothers have poured massive amounts of money in to organizations and politicians who oppose or deny climate change as well as climate scientists in general, and have pledged to use nearly a billion dollars in campaign contributions in the next election cycle.

With the new Republican congress, things seem to be headed in an even worse direction in climate progress. The Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, James Inhofe, who is a Republican from Oklahoma, recently made a speech in congress denying climate change by using a snowball as his personal proof that climate change couldn’t be happening because it was cold and snowy in the District of Columbia. He also used the bible to prove that climate change could not possibly be man made, as he considered it arrogant that man could change what God had already created. He went on to say that, as long as God was active, there would always be cold seasons and hot seasons. The reason this frightens me so much is the fact that Senator Inhofe has control of the committee that sets resolutions pertaining to the environment, which means that nothing will be done in the Senate to produce legislation that could curb the effects of climate change, or try to set limits on carbon emissions.

It almost seems like we might be doomed, yet the speech made by Gary Paul Nabhan gave me a sense of hope for the future, as well as seeing the huge amount of concerned citizens who attended the climate meeting as well. If we all work together as a community, in forms of activism and protests, as well as doing what we can to mitigate climate change, I believe we can make a difference in the future, and pursue a change of policy in our own government so that we as a society can make real progress towards saving the planet.

A Collaborative Effort

Going to the keynote presentation was different than anything I imagined. Initially, when I walked in the “Raging Grammies of Eugene” were performing a skit about protesting various projects like the keystone pipeline. While I was caught off guard by the style of this presentation, I was interested to see what it was like to attend an environmental conference. The general vibe in the room was positive and everybody was thoroughly interested in whatever the people were speaking or singing about. What I was most interested in; however, were the concepts professed in Gary Paul Nabhan’s keynote about the importance of collaboration and agriculture. Contine reading

Climate Change Comics

This past Friday, I attended the keynote speech at the EMU. Upon my arrival, I was given a pamphlet of sorts entitled “Enviro NGO Greenwashing and the Cult of Hopium: Fueling Destruction and Denial While the Biosphere Burns”. Even based on the title, it is not difficult to infer what sort of message this pamphlet and its author sought to portray. More interesting, however, than the strongly worded argument enclosed, are the comics that were featured inside.  Contine reading

Is Future Coast realistic?

I think that the exercise we did with Future Coast was very interesting in the sense that we got to see and hear different scenarios that could possibly happen in the future. One aspect that I thought made this more realistic was hearing people’s voices and the emotion that came out of some of them. It was also very fun figuring out a scenario and making the actual phone call. But I had some thoughts that went through my head as we were doing this that made me question if the Future Coast project was realistic.

I know that the Future Coast project is to make people aware of climate change and what might happen in the future. But, it made me wonder just about technology in general. None of the messages were positive, and none really seemed like they could be realistic. It is hard for me to picture what could possibly happen in the future with climate change. I also started to wonder if there were even voicemails being left in the future. I feel like leaving voicemails is a dying cause since people already do not leave voicemails unless it is an important message for someone or an office call. Do we think that in the future we could look back at these voicemails and see what was said and then compare what is actually happening? I’m not really sure what it would be like, but I think it would be interesting to be able to look back on these messages and compare what was said and what is actually happening.  Contine reading

There’s Hope

For my final blog, I chose to interview two of my closest friends to find out what they think of global warming. It amazed me to hear that they both learned more about global warming in just this term than in their whole lives because I’ve been sharing what I’ve been learning in class. Therefore, I thought that their opinions would be biased after hearing mine for the past nine weeks; however, to my surprise, that was not the case.

I started the conversation off with the simple question, “What comes to mind when you hear the words, ‘global warming?’” One of my friends answered, “Polar Bears and flooded islands,” while the other said, “Melting glaciers, holes in the atmosphere, and creating of fuel efficient cars.” Feeling proud of their answers, I moved onto the second question, “Do you believe that global warming is happening?” and I was astonished to hear them both, flat-out, say “no.” When I asked them why, one of them said that they strictly don’t believe in global warming, and the other said that climate change is happening, however, it’s just one of the transitions the Earth goes through and it’s not permanent. Contine reading

Father: Oregon Will Be The New California

When I asked my father what climate change meant to him, he surprised me. His first response was that the polar bears are dying, but then he went in depth into some of good things first. Obviously, when one thinks climate change, they never think about positive changes, but my father talked about the opening shipping routes through the arctic and how that could benefit trade.

Now, my father was by no means supporting climate change and pollution, but he was merely looking at the bright side of the situation. This has been hard for us in a very pessimistic and negative class. Though he tried to do that, that example was one of the only practical ones he could think of.

He knew his stuff about climate change. He talked a lot about the gas prices and how they are going down. This was because they have found a cheaper way to produce gasoline (fracking), but it was worse for the environment. We posed the question: is it worth it? What is more important: saving money or saving the environment? Obviously, from a personal, here and now standpoint, one would say that saving money is worth it. Do we need to save money at that cost to our future though? Contine reading

“I’m not going to be around for that!”

This week, I decided to talk to my grandparents about how they feel about the climate change issue as a whole.  I chose to talk to them because I know that they often have very different opinions than me on issues like this.  They also tend to be very stubborn–especially my grandpa, and do not change their opinions very easily.  I started by talking to my grandpa and asked very generally:  “How do you feel about climate change?”  He responded by saying that he did not think that it was something we had to put too much effort into right now because it will not affect us for a while.  When I asked him why he does not worry about it and dismisses it, he just responded by saying that his effort alone was not enough to make a huge change and that to change his ways would be inconvenient.  While I agreed with him that it can sometimes be inconvenient, I told him that I think it is important that we try to make a change sooner than later.  He shrugged it off.  “I’m not going to be around for that!”

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Conversing about Climate Changing

I decided to pick my mom to have a conversation with about climate change because I already know my dads response on what he thinks about climate change. My first question was, “Do you believe in climate change?”. My mom said that she does believe in climate change because she has seen long term climate changes across the globe and there has been a decline in sea ice in the arctic. She also thinks that people are impacting the climate change because there are the signs of the human pollution that is making are our air warmer. My next question for her was, “Why do you think people don’t believe in climate change?”. Her first response to the question is that people are ignorant but I told her to elaborate on that. She said that climate change is obvious because of all the snow fall in the East coast right now and how it is sunny here and in California. She went on to say I don’t know why people don’t believe in climate change because the signs are there. People are not aware of whats going on in our world and they are not educated enough to understand why these things are happening to our earth. She does not believe they are convinced that is happening but it is and it is a serious problem. Another reason why they may not be convinced that it is happening because they are not experiencing climate change first hand. Experiencing climate change would result in them believing in it. For example the people in the mid west had their roofs cave in on them because of snow. She thinks after these people experienced climate change they now understand. After she went on to talk about our electric car and how she hated it in the beginning but in the end she grew to like it because she saw the outcomes of the car. She saw that we save money on gas and helped the environment by not polluting any gases. Something else she said was, “Someone who knows very little about climate change does not care a great deal about its consequences”. Which I agreed with her on that quote because if you do not care about climate change you probably wont believe in it too. The next question I asked her was, “What do you do at home to help prevent climate change?”. Her response was that we own an electric car and that helps prevent climate change because anything that uses gas pollutes the environment. She thinks cars are a big problem why our climate changes because it is something that everyone uses. She said if you can do your part to prevent climate change that it will help not only the environment but everybody.

Changing Currents with Amy Goodman

On Thursday I went to the opening ceremonies for the Changing Currents Conference where we saw a video from Amy Goodman coming to us live from New York. One of the first things she talked about was how our government is a broken system because some power figures think global warming is a hoax. She said that people think its a hoax because people would not know what to do if global warming was actually happening. Thats when people started calling it climate change. They started calling it climate change because it was a more appropiate title and it did not sound as harmful as global warming. After she started talking about how obvious things are happening to our earth because of climate change. For example she said that no one is making the connection that Niagra Falls is freezing and there is a drought in California. To me this connection is obvious that global warming is doing this but some people are not making the connection. Amy than talked about the word climate change and said people need to think about the science behind climate change. The science is, is that the temperature has gone over .8 diagrees of the industrial level. She went on to talk about how it is good that we are even talking about climate change and how so many people showed up to hear about it instead of letting this topic go unknown. She ended her speech with a quote that says, “It always seems impossible til its done”.
Going into this conference I did not know what to expect. When I walked in the whole ballroom was filled to listen to Amys speech which I thought was impressive. Most of the people in the room were climate activists but to be honest I did not know we had that many in Eugene. I thought her speech was very powerful and interesting. I learned a lot about climate change problems happening in World War II and plenty of factual information about climate change. I really enjoyed her speech and hope I can hear her speak again.

Works of Cli-Fi have not started to make an Impact

In my opinion, Cli-Fi is not yet popular. The first time I heard about a work of cli-fi was the movie 2012. This movie goes through the events of an average American family who wants to survive with the wealthiest and most influential people in the world. The character Charlie Frost played by Woody Harrelson is a theorist who has been predicting all the disasters happening in the movie for years, but no one listened to him. This is like the cli-fi writers and movie directors right now. They are foreseeing the potential danger to our planet. Nobody believed Charlie Frost in 2012 because everyone though he sounded crazy and unstable. Everyone believed that these catastrophes couldn’t actually happen, and I think that is what people think of cli-fi books and movies.

The New York Times “Room for Debate” article answering the question: “Will fiction influence how we react to climate change?” have writers share their opinion about whether works of literature is working to spread to the word of global warming. George Marshall the founder of Climate Outreach Information Network says, “Stories are vitally important for us to make sense of climate change. The rational side of our brain can readily accept that this is a problem. But it needs the alchemy of stories to turn that cold data into the emotional gold it needs to mobilize” (Marshall). His point is very true because people can’t imagine facts and data they can only imagine the stories people share or stories they read. People need to be told what they should expect the future to look like. But that being said, everyone has different opinions of what the future looks like. So stories are different and inconsistent and that makes people not want to listen to them.

In class we left voicemails for the game and website Future Coast. Almost all the voicemails students recorded were negative. The timestream I complied with all the voicemails had family as the main theme because that seemed like the biggest concern. Children and parents were worried about the future and whether they would see each other again. These voicemails are tying to send the same message cli-fi writers are sending to predict what the future will look like for humans. Even though these voicemails were influential the question is how many people are listening to them and actually doing something.

All the writers in “Room Debate” believe that cli-fi is helping. Dan Bloom blog “Dan Bloom’s Cli Fi Dreamin’ Webzine” he states that “novels and movies have the power to change minds” (Bloom). While this may be true it is not changing enough minds fast enough. I agree with the novelist Sarah Stone who Bloom quotes as saying “If we survive, ‘it will be in part because of the books like this one (California by Edan Lepucki), which go beyond abstract predictions and statistics to show the moment-by-moment reality of a painful possible future, the price we may have to pay for our passionate devotion to all the wrong things’”(Bloom). This is a very accurate because many people don’t think global warming is an important enough topic. Most people think that the warm days in December are normal, but they’re not. People are not realizing the danger we are in because not enough people have heard or read the stories writers are predicting.

Education is key

After taking this course I have a whole new perspective on how our planet is being polluted; I’ve learned extensive amounts about water pollution and how that, in the long run, is going to defunct a multitude of animal species and eventually destroy our planet’s ability to sustain life. I never thought someone else was as interested in this topic until I talked to a close friend of mine and found out that she grew up in an area that banned water pollution near recreational swimming zones. Of course that didn’t stop her city from dumping the pollutants into the water just further up the coast, but it was a step in the right direction. She spoke about how beautiful and pristine her beaches were; how, even during the rainy season, the water was still clear and fish still swam near the coast. Thats how beaches are supposed to look; however, the unfortunate truth of this story is that this is not a common reality for most coastal areas. Many beaches are polluted to the extent where they are closed off to the public because if someone swam in the contaminated water they could get extremely ill or even die. So why is this still legal? Why is it legal to pollute water to the extent that it may kill people if they swim in it? Why don’t we consider marine animals’ lives when creating these laws? My friend and I asked ourselves these questions and tried to come up with reasonable explanations as to why humans have created laws and norms that put human beings at the top of the pyramid of life. Contine reading

Fact or Fiction

The question of whether or not fiction will influence how people react to climate change is one we have discussed often throughout the quarter. People question whether or not a completely fictional story could really change people’s minds about an argument that is solely based on the facts. My personal opinion is that fiction could definitely have an effect on how people react to climate change. There are many things that going into making and effective argument, factual evidence definitely plays a huge part in any argument, it is the foundation and without it, no argument can be properly supported. While logic and facts are very important, a persons emotional connection can also have a large effect on how they respond to an argument. When people are informed about climate change, most of the time it is with information that is all fact. Fact is important, but most people are not able to connect with numbers, facts, and statistics. Contine reading

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

My only other encounter with climate change in school was sixth grade in my science lecture. We were shown Al Gore’s documentary titled An Inconvenient Truth. I don’t remember too much about the documentary, except that I was left with the question: Why is he spending so much money and gas by traveling? He’s using private jets and limos to get everywhere, yet preaching about saving energy and gas in order to reduce our carbon footprint.

Well, I went home and explained my day to my mom, including that we were shown this documentary. She is a lawyer, and therefore she loves a good argument. She’s also a conservative, so she doesn’t have the nicest things to say about Al Gore. At the time, 2006, she believed that climate change was not manmade at all. So, she emailed my school and told them that they needed to show the other side of this controversial topic. It being my first year in middle school, I was so incredibly embarrassed that she did this and I think I didn’t talk to her for a day or two.

Looking back on that instance, I realize that, firstly, I was a brat. And secondly, I realized that I respect what she did, despite being embarrassed (which, I had no right to be because I doubt that my friends would have found out). Regardless of the “right” or “wrong” stance on climate change, children need to be informed on both sides of a topic before forming an accurate opinion about what they believe in.

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Some Thoughts on “Room for Debate”

The article by the New York Times entitled, “Room for Debate”, discusses different views and thoughts about the genre cli-fi and what it’s purpose is in the eyes of six different writers. Half of the writers were in agreement that climate change fiction can possibly lead to solutions and a stir of emotions created in the reader while on the other hand, the other half of writers stood by the viewpoint that cli-fi would enable discussion about the various issues tied with climate change, but that is about all individuals could expect. I will be discussing three writers who stood out to me the most from this article.

The first writer, Sheree Renee Thomas believes that an imagination is crucial in the solution making process. She states, “As we learned from Hurricane Katrina and Sandy, it is not enough to simply predict extreme weather. To survive and thrive, we will need to have the fortitude and the commitment to imagine community-based solutions as part of our shared future” ( I completely agree with this viewpoint because I feel that without having a wide imagination for change, change cannot take place. Just like how sometimes we imagine crazy, turbulent futures, solutions come from imaginative scenarios as well. The second writer, George Marshall, does not agree so much with Thomas. He believes that climate change fiction will not create a change or do anything more to help this issue. He states, “I predict that ‘cli-fi’ will reinforce existing views rather than shift them. The unconvinced will see these stories as proof that this issue is a fiction, exaggerated for dramatic effect. The already convinced will be engaged, but overblown apocalyptic story lines may distance them from the issue of climate change or even objectify the problem” (

Marshall goes on further to say that in order for people to want to make a change and start creating solutions, authors need to write about stories that entail successful struggles, that shares resolutions in a more promising world. I am not sure as to how I feel about his views on cli-fi. I can see his point when he says that cli-fi reinforces existing views, but I also believe that while cli-fi may do that, it has the possibility to shift views depending on the intensity of the novel and how much background knowledge one already has on the issue of climate change. Contine reading

The Polar Bear

I thought that this blog would be a good opportunity to relate a post to my final project for this course. I am doing some research on the polar bear and how human interaction is directly affecting their lives. As the earth gets warmer every year with the increase in our carbon emissions, their habitat is deteriorating. Their typical climate is dependent on sea ice, which allows them to swim freely and hunt for seals, their main source of food. As the world continues to heat, open seas ice is deteriorating and often stranding polar bears on floating ice sheets often leading to them drowning while in search of solid land.

Polar bears are in serious threat of going extinct due to human interaction. They were the first vertebrate species to be put on the endangered species list directly caused by global warming. Since they can only survive in an area that is cold enough to create sea ice, the warmer temperatures are destroying their natural habitat. The future of polar bears in the wild is looking highly unlikely at this point. Sea ice is beginning to be more and more uncommon and there is not enough to keep the polar bears sustained. Many experts believe that we could see wild polar bears extinct as early as the next 10 years.

It does not stop at polar bears. There are countless animals that are on the brink of extinction due to human interaction and climate change. These animals we often can take for granted because they have been in our world our whole lives. But what about the next generation? How do you think they will feel when polar bears, sea turtles, elephants, tigers, and many other species in the wild are a thing of the past? We should not rob the future generations of the opportunity to have the same interests and experiences that we did because we were too lazy to recycle or ride our bikes instead of driving and wasting fossil fuels. The time to start saving the future is now.

Heres some links to check out:

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The Age of Storytellers

Let’s start off on an honest note: if you were an ordinary person (and not in a cli-fi English class) would you have read any of the stories/novels we read in class? Personally, I know I wouldn’t be reading Odds Against Tomorrow for fun. However since I am in a cli-fi English class, I found a new respect for the cli-fi genre. I found a respect for the storytelling and how most of the stories grabbed my attention and opened discussion. Reading the NYTimes Room for Debate article on cli-fi, I noticed a lot of the debaters mentioned the same thing; cli-fi needs a good story and a teller to get the message out. Contine reading

Conversation: Older Generation

Over the weekend I had a conversation about climate change with my older uncle. I brought up the issue about global warming and how it could significantly affect now and future. He knew climate change was happening but I could tell that he did not know all the facts. He explained how no one really talked about climate change with him and it seemed he was not that educated about the situation. When he was a kid, climate change was not an issue at all. Not as many people recycled and it was a more stress free atmosphere. People weren’t as worried about using energy or cutting down trees as they are now. The older generation’s boom in technology and industry did help contribute to global warming today; however, they weren’t as aware or didn’t care about what the side effects and how it would affect the environment. They did not understand the long lasting impacts it could have on the world.

Today, my uncle does recycle and he uses energy efficient lighting along with other environmentally friendly equipment. He also drives a hummer which is known to be very harmful towards the environment but he has no plans to change it because he likes the car. My uncle has a lot of  mixed feelings about the future. He explained how much technology has advanced since he was a teenager and how he enjoys using that kind of technology today. The new equipment we have today has been more advanced than the world has ever seen before. Because of this, he thinks there can be a way that we can use this innovation to slow down the temperature rising. He also feels that because of the increasing population size, especially in Asia, it is hard to stop all these people from contributing to the pollution in the atmosphere. No matter how advanced our technology gets, we cannot stop all the people from further contributing to climate change.

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Common Ground

While Bill McKibben’s talk left much to be desired, Gary Paul Nabhan had some very pertinent points, one of which being the idea of a common ground. So often we think of climate change as a polarizing issue. There are categories, groups that are constructed. Those who believe it’s a thing, those who don’t. Those who want to take action, and those who sit idly by. Gary Paul Nabhan wants us to break these groups and try to find something common we all can agree on.

The political realm is often the battle ground for legislation that both helps and hurts the climate change movement. Nabhan stated that this portion of the history has the most partisan group on Capitol Hill. The politicians care more about voting with their party as opposed to the issues at hand. Politics aside, I find that this is the issue with a lot of things including climate change. Many people will choose one side in order to stay consistent with their religious beliefs or other varying circumstances. This is where the idea of common ground comes in.

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When thinking about what to write about for my last blog post of this class, I was conflicted with whether to write about how amazing this class was, how professor Stephen is the best professor on campus, or how fascinating yet scary climate change really is. Then I realized those were all such obvious topics so I decided to go a bit of a different route.

Climate change is a scary topic. It’s something that’s very challenging for people to understand fully. When Stephen first went into depth about climate change, then Cli-Fi, it didn’t phase me. For example, I didn’t look twice at our first reading and just assumed this class was like every other class I have taken where I go to class to try and get the best grade I can. Most my classes were all about getting a good grade. But this class was different.  It made me think. I actually wanted to go to class not only to get a good grade but because I was intrigued about the ideas we were talked about. It turned from curiosity to almost like a need understand what my future has in store for me. The next thing I know I was googling articles and learning about how all this change can affect Oregon. I wasn’t just studying it for my class but now for curiosity. Than I saw it in my every day life, I noticed the greater number of warmer days rather than cold. I noticed how there wasn’t enough snow on the mountains this year. I understood what it means when people talked about the drought in California. I understood why all this was happening and it actually made me think twice about it.

As scary as it was it was also satisfying. In our elementary school history classes we learned about wars, floods, and any sort of big event that happened in our worlds history. Well now we’re living through it. This change we are experiencing is something our grandchildren and their children will be learning about in elementary school. Whether for the good or for the bad what we are living through will go down in history. It’s scary to think about but also amazing to be a part of. It’s our job to be the heroes in this story. To be the Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington, Anne Frank, and all the other historic figures we have learned about and come to know from our past. Our names can fit into that list in the future and after taking this class, it’s important we take all the information that we have learned and use it to our best ability to help give everyone else a fighting chance. Remember, the smallest of acts in mass amounts is an effective way to help be a hero.

“Climate Change is Not My Problem”

Before taking this class based on the subject of climate change I never really looked into the weather patterns as factors of global warming so I didn’t expect my sister to either when I asked her input on climate change. I described to her the plot of the novel we read in class, Odds Against Tomorrow, and what Cli-Fi is. Prior to trying to strengthen her knowledge of climate change she claims the only thing she really knew was that major ice caps are melting and polar bears had the possibility of going extinct in the near future.

Thinking about a possible natural disaster that could destroy part of the world is scary. My sister has a prominent fear of the ocean so when she found out the major cities could flood, even our hometown of San Diego, she freaked. She was unaware that so much damage could be done to our planet overall. She only believed that the temperature would probably increase a few degrees and that animals such as polar bears would suffer greatly. My sister seemed worried by all these possible events but not worried enough. Frequently I would hear my sister say, “but this won’t affect me I won’t be alive then” or “if I don’t have to experience it then it’s not my problem”. In reality, it is her problem. I am worried about these type of reactions she had because climate change is affecting all of us right at this moment.

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There’s actually people who don’t believe in climate change..?

Prior to this class I never thought about climate change for more than a couple of minutes when I would read about an area affected by climate change, or the toll it will have on our future world. Which seems surreal because I find myself seeing and thinking about climate change so frequently now that it has become a daily thought of mine. It’s like an ex-best friend that you try and avoid at all costs, but somehow they just happen to be at your new favorite coffee shop, around the corner and basically everywhere that you are. Similar to this ex-best friend climate change is something that is prevalent everywhere, it is the grass and flowers we see blooming way before they should be, it is the invisible winter that was nothing short of sunshine and 55 degrees (which is extremely warm for a Eugene winter,) it is everywhere. Unlike this unavoidable ex-best friend, climate change is something that can be tackled, something that is not all bad, and something that we can slow down the progression of if we put our entire effort forward.

With all of this in mind, after seeing how climate change is affecting the world around us immensely it shocked me to have a discussion with one of my roommates about climate change. After a long and tiring back-to-back argument about climate change I left the room furious. Essentially in a short synopsis she told me that she didn’t believe that climate change was moving at a more rapid pace because of the human effect on the world. She tried to explain to me that climate change would happen regardless because of the natural toll of the earth. As that is true, we have a huge impact and carbon footprint that is in-erasable. Everything we do is helping the progression of a world heavily affected by climate change, a world that could have a limitation on water intake, rising sea levels, cities being wiped out and so on.

The idea of any of those things happening would frighten most people, which is what shocked me most about this conversation that I had with one of my roommates. Although people are obviously entitled to their own opinion, I just don’t understand how someone could turn a blind eye to the world around us. For example, these wonderful sunny days in Eugene are an indicator that our climate is changing, it is hot somewhere where it is supposedly still “winter,” yet rather than a winter full of rain we have a winter filled with sunshine. Last year around this time, if not a month prior it was snowing here, and now it’s as sunny as can be. I suppose, if you don’t believe in climate change you can pin it to us being fairly lucky. But for those who realize and understand the path our world is taking can only hope that one day more people will realize that climate change is occurring, and will continue to occur if we don’t change.