What Teens Are Saying
Over drinks of chai tea, three teens and I sat down at a local Taos eatery to talk about the environment. I was joined by Dylan Felt and Ann Caroline Franklin, both are 15 year-olds and attend Moreno Valley High School. I also chatted with 13 year-old Pachin who is an 8th grader at Yaxche Community School.
I first posed the question of what scares them most about our planet. Dylan expressed his concerns on the Great Pacific Garbage Dump which is the size of Texas and continues to pollute. The size of our deserts and how they continue to get bigger concerned Pachin, and Ann Caroline, told me she was afraid of what kind of life her children would be living in years to come--after all, she said, "we all have it pretty good right now."
On their environmental accomplishments, I was surprised at how much they are involved. Amazingly, we are not required to recycle in Taos and Dylan told me he and his buddies had done this on their own through a local organization, Rivers and Birds and are seeking a government funding grant for recycling in Taos. All three teens talked about how their families are very prudent about recycling on their own--but only after a little push from the teen! A great job on the kids part, especially keeping their parents on their toes.
When asked if President Obama would be able to help with the environment and alternative energy solutions and how they liked his plans for the future, Dylan was concerned about US off-shore drilling because of its risks to chemical release into the water and the underwater accidents it could bring from repairs to rigs. He also felt that if Obama could step it up, not only would green and alternative energies come into play but it could help with the unemployment issue.
Ms. Franklin talked about the Kyoto Treaty that apparently the US hasn't signed or been a part of since it was established in 1992! This treaty is part of the United Nation's Convention on Climate Change and its main focus is stabilizing the Earth's greenhouse gases. Surprisingly, being green myself, I was totally unaware of this! Pachin feels we have put too many demands on Obama for four years but likes the President's we/us approach. All three teens though a little brainwashing from the government was going on.
Image Credit: Teenager School Class II by Chris8800/The Commons