How Climate Change Affects Us


By Ella Tackett

Rising ocean waters, dying species. Every student has seen the news stories. But exceedingly often it seems like a faraway reality, one that won’t really have a direct impact on our day-to-day lives. Who cares about a random insect going extinct? It is far too easy to brush off the facts as if they don’t matter to us, but the truth is that’s not the case. The same way a broken ladder rung renders the entire device moot, a species dying out can disrupt the food chain and have wide-reaching effects. Bees are a prime example of this. If bees didn’t exist anymore, the reality is, neither would we. Humans depend on the services bees provide for us, and without them, humankind could not survive. Without many species, modern life would be irreparably harder if not impossible.

We live in Southern California, which puts us at an exponentially higher risk factor for climate change. Rising temperatures mean rising sea levels, which could devastate our beautiful California coastline. Drought is a pressing issue for us as well; less water coming in through the Colorado River and in the reservoirs is resulting in a crisis that is ongoing and is only going to get worse. According to, 3,095,313 people in San Diego County are currently affected by drought. 

The water shortage crisis in the American West is caused almost exclusively by climate change, and it has the potential to upend life as we know it. This is an issue that cannot be ignored, but every person can make a difference. Conserving water is not hard to do, and taking shorter showers and turning off the faucet when it’s not needed is a simple task that can have far-reaching impacts.

The bottom line is that even as kids we can have an enormous influence on the world around us. Just being aware of the problem and acknowledging its existence is a step in the right direction. As we get older and graduate, we can work towards solving these problems on a larger scale. Whether it’s advocating or working to conserve energy at school and home, there is a lot that students can do. You don’t have to be a legislator to make a difference. 

It is easy to say that there isn’t anything one singular person can do to have an influence, but that kind of negative thinking is exactly what doesn’t get things done. It doesn’t matter a person’s age or societal standing, any person on the planet Earth can change what happens around them. You have the ability to make a change in the world, you just have to want to.