Sustainability Week Summit Raises Awareness

A discussion on Climate Change

Bijan Izadi, Photo editor

The sustainability summit on Oct 23 brought kids from the on campus high school, the surrounding high schools, and students from Mesa together to learn and talk about the ideas and the pressing issues facing society regarding climate change. This diverse group of students were exposed to ideas that are currently, and will soon be shaping the future of society on this planet and, well, whatever comes next in our quest to explore and survive. The truth is the things discussed at this summit, and at the Paris Climate Talks which are going to be held from Nov 30th to Dec 11th, are extremely important, and evaluating and discussing these things is the most important step in starting to make major cohesive changes world wide to create a more promising future.

The presentations included voices from USDA’s Natural Resources Convention Service, the San Diego Hunger Coalition, as well as student researchers from Mesa, SDSU, and UCSD. Various other professionals in the field of sustainability were also in attendance on Friday. This diverse group of people is so vital for ensuring not that everyone get what they want, but that the outcome – the ideas and thoughts that become reality in the future – work for everyone, and that no one gets left out because of decisions made that do not account for everyone effected. Bringing students to talk to and listen to the people that are currently in charge of the decisions being made in regards to the way these ideas are or are not implemented is also very important. That is what this day really did for students, it brought them to the realization, if they were not already there, that the issues and problems related to climate change are complex and that the solutions require a lot of input from every different areas of information and study.
At the end of the day, students who were split into different subject areas, climate change, water resources, and food security, were brought together to share what they learned in their respective groups with the other groups. They then proposed ideas to solve various problems, these ideas were in depth solutions that showed what they learned from the day. Ideas to fight food insecurity were the realization that healthy food is hard to get, and it should be made easier to access through more effective distribution which would lower costs and get it where it is needed. Solutions for water resource issues were discussed, for example the fact that water is over used and wasted, and that desalination plants can be used to get water, and that even these are not perfect – they produce a very dangerous brine concentration that needs to be accounted for. This also had students discussing the idea that climate change solutions need not only be intended on fixing the issue of climate change, but that it is important to know where and in what ways it is already effecting the world, and how to deal with it, and how to make sure people are prepared for it. This means that even though things are changing, preparations need to be made so that it does not negatively effect people. That is the importance of events and discussions like these.