May 21, 2024 (11:45 PM)

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Contributed by: Marishka Anne Lobitos

With the rise of the heat index that people cannot ignore, social media has been filled with complaints, one of which sparked a heated debate between those who grew up in the 90s and what we now consider to be Gen Z. A comparison of the temperature then and now was the subject of the debate. ‘Batang 90s’ claims that today’s generation is overly sensitive, whining over the heat and reminiscing about their youth playing under the sun; this got the attention of Gen Zs, stating how different the average temperatures of their time and the present. Still, the adults did not change their opinions as their generation continued to receive backlash on social media platforms. I could not help but think that the attitude of those considered the ‘Batang 90s’ toward this extreme heat is caused by their downplaying or denying climate change.

I know that everyone should take climate change seriously, but I just could not figure out why some, if not most, adults disregard this and classify it as something trivial. They should be concerned with this intolerable heat as they are most likely prone to heatstroke due to their age. I find it funny because they seem so stuck in the past that despite modern technologies proving every issue raised today to be accurate, they would just not listen. 

This issue reminded me of a time back when I was in elementary school; my Science teacher was discussing the harmful effects of burning plastic and leaves on the ozone layer, and she told the class to inform the person we see burning garbage respectfully to stop doing it. Young me was excited to go home after hearing it because I had a neighbor whom I could inform about what I had learned during my Science class. It was my way of contributing to environmental stewardship at a young age, but, spoiler alert, I was disappointed when I got home. Elementary student me mustered up the courage to approach her neighbor, shyly saying that burning garbage is bad for the ozone layer, to which the old neighbor agreed with my statement but then proceeded to continue burning her garbage. So, I went home needing clarification about the experience. Only when I turned high school did I realize that adults just did their own thing without thinking about the consequences of their actions.

I could only roll my eyes, thinking about how adults disregard the concerns of my generation. They would always say, “Bata pa kayo, wala kayong alam sa mundong ito,” or “kami nga, sa panahon namin,” every time, and it only fuelled my frustration towards their stubbornness. 

The million-dollar question is, “Why are they denying climate change?” I could list down the effects of climate change with basis, and they would still deny it, glorifying their experiences in the past. It is evident that there is a disparity between the past and present temperatures since climate change was not severe in the past. It is ridiculous to compare everyday experiences with whole different factors and living states. They are also complaining about the heat, so why is it that when the younger generation complains and receives the treatment they deserve per se, impose an online or asynchronous modality of learning for elementary to high school students just so they will not have to suffer the heat in their classrooms, the adults will call them weak and too sensitive. Don’t they see that this is now a health concern? Heat exhaustion is a real thing that could happen to anyone. 

These same people who deny climate change are also the same people who would stay at a place where it has its air conditioning system on 24/7 because it is too hot. They are also the same people who prefer to stay home because traveling is hot nowadays. I guess this is the irony of being an adult who is prideful.

What hurt me was when scientists staged a worldwide protest back in 2022, they expressed their fear and warnings about climate change, which gained attention on different social media platforms—with everything they could do to make how critical the condition of our planet is known, they got themselves arrested. I am fully aware that what they did stirred the security of every country by causing fear in the audience. They were in no position to announce such news, but the idea of waiting for the right people to announce such news would probably be too late for us if they even planned to make such an announcement. 

But even after that whole commotion with the scientists, some still do not believe in the pressing issue of climate change. It sucks that even those who had the credentials were considered delusional for saying such things; what happens to the rest of us? Will we be able to find someone who cares, who will listen, and who will make an effort to create positive change and address climate change? Most of us are part of Generation Z. Is there a hope that someone from the adult club will listen to us without ridiculing and disregarding us? That will be the day.

I fear that the actions of the youth will be insufficient without the adults listening and cooperating. I fear that as we only endure the scorching heat and place bandaid solutions to mitigate our problems with the heat, everything will be too late. Our actions will determine whether future generations can still see the planet’s beauty. It is time to stop denying climate change—face it and create solutions. Refrain from comparing our generation to yours. We are all suffering from the same irreversible problem, after all.

This article was published in the April 2024 Tabloid Issue of Atenews. Read it here: https://tinyurl.com/AtenewsTabVol69No3



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