Repairing the environment takes all of us

The Editorial Board

As the voice of the school community, Lake Views values writing that highlights solutions, not just problems.

When writing about climate change, it is easy to focus on problems: certain regions of the world are literally burning. Others are melting rapidly. Meanwhile, the mass culture of the internet insists that by sharing photos or videos, we’re doing our part. That by commenting, “we need to stop this!!” in bolded font, we’re taking a step towards “ggoing ggreen.” But posting pictures or words, in and of itself, solves little. This truth is incontrovertible.

Going green is a multifaceted, collective endeavor. Individually, it entails the reduction of a person’s carbon footprint. That doesn’t necessarily mean that our carbon-reducing efforts must be big, but they must at least be tangible: composting, recycling, carpooling, turning off lights, walking to school, flying less frequently, reusing plastic bags, investing in solar panels, eating less meat and making sure it is sustainable. But because this is individual, it requires a certain level of trust that each of us will practice responsibly — and consistently.

When we’re considering the collective aspect of becoming more environmentally conscious, our school community is a primary influence. And it’s where our mission of solution-based writing comes into play. As a preface to this issue: there is hope. In our own Lake Oswego community, individuals and collectives have dedicated themselves to locally championing climate activism and carbon-reducing practices. Some use their platforms to collect donations, while others, like our local Green Team, organize in-person volunteering. We seek to amplify these inspirational and vital voices.

While we have dedicated this paper to an environmental theme, we acknowledge that this discussion is worthy of more than a double-page spread (see pages 6 and 7): it is a crisis that undeniably permeates every single aspect of our lives. All of us have something at stake, and we have to hold ourselves and each other accountable, even if that means striking up uncomfortable conversations. We are each responsible for initiating and maintaining the dialogue.