Climate Change: Teacher vs Student Perspectives


Every so often, temperatures drop lower than they should be based on annual and historical averages. Many students may be surprised at the sudden rise in temperature whilst still on the cusp of winter and spring. Although unexpected heatwaves, called “Santa Anas,” are generally common during this season, LATimes notes that this one “is just massive” (LATimes).

These sudden fluctuations bring about the concerns of climate change and its detrimental effects that are surfacing today even in our own city.

Tom George, the Earth and Space Science teacher, warned that the serious effects are already evident, especially in geographically colder regions of the world.

“Just talk to the people in Alaska … it’s not the same as it was 50 years ago. They don’t have ice. We don’t have the same animals anymore.”

In order to further educate students about global warming, George incorporates hands-on examples in his classroom. One of which includes an experiment demonstrating the insulating effect of CO2 and other emissions.

“In my Earth Science class, we take carbon dioxide and put it in a beaker. Then we put warm air in a beaker and heat them, exactly the same, and watch what happens,” explains George, “The one that has CO2 takes longer to warm up and once it’s warmed up, it keeps the heat in. It stays warm for a longer time.”

Through this experiment, George simulates how CO2 makes our atmosphere warmer by trapping in more heat. With carbon dioxide levels higher today than any other point in the last 800,000 years, there is a definite need for action (

“I think there’s pretty decent awareness [among students] about [global warming], but not much about what to do,” expressed George.

George said he believes that the only way to stop global warming is through a “collective” effort and PV students agree, recognizing that they play a role in combating climate change as well.

“It’s definitely [the responsibility of] our generation,” expressed senior Ian Guanzon, “It’s the job of the people.“

“I think it [should be] the government’s job” added senior Noah Fishkin, “Everything’s [due to] the corporations [as well].”

Both seniors suggest that young people of this generation participate in picking up trash and volunteer work. In addition, young people can limit their support for companies that contribute to waste and pollution.

If you are interested in learning more about global warming, visit , a site recommended by George.