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UF Community weighs in on the Climate Crisis – The Pulse

UF Community weighs in on the Climate Crisis – The Pulse

UF Community weighs in on the Climate Crisis – The Pulse

By Matthew Miller-Search

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The United Nations Glasglow Climate Change Summit, held in October and Nov in the United Kingdom, caught the attention of the entire world, including the Findlay community.

Kim Lichtveld, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Management at University of Findlay, says that climate change is a major issue for a very good reason.

 “I think that it is still something that we need to be worried about as a human race because we are still producing things that are diminishing our protective ozone layer,” Lichtveld said.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) climate summit is the Conference of the Parties.  It is the United Nations’ primary decision-making body regarding climate change. The first meeting was held 1995 in Germany. The most recent meeting, COP26, was held in Scotland this month.  This annual meeting brings together governments from all over the world to review and discuss how climate is being managed at home and abroad.  Their goal is to reach agreements among nations on the reduction and maintenance of global temperatures and greenhouse gases.

The goals of this year’s summit include asking countries to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century among many other goals.

Lichtveld believes the United States is a leader in combating climate changes, but she still believes there is more to do.

“I think there needs to be a little more push on technology and infrastructure to create better mitigating processes,” Lichtveld said. “Maybe like better catalytic converters or filters that go on our smokestacks and stuff like that.”

While nuclear energy is an alternative to more traditional energy sources, there are still concerns about the dangers of nuclear waste and how to manage them safely.

“Nuclear energy has its ups and downs. The only real output of nuclear energy is water. But the danger behind that is you have this radioactive waste,” said Lichtveld. “Even though it is less waste than you would have with coal burning, power plants, or even gas burning power plants. You have this radioactive waste and how do you place that safely so that doesn’t hurt you in the long term.”

Tantorrian Cameron is an Environment Health Safety and Sustainable major at the University of Findlay.

“I believe that combating climate is important because climate change effects ours living environment and our eco system in a negative way,” Campbell said. “Climate change could be the end of our future and I think it’s important to fix it for our future generations.”

While tackling climate change is a “big ask” Lichtveld says UF students can play their part.

“I think college students should think about how they can work together and support programs whether that is at the political level to make these changes,” Lichtveld said. “Especially in our program in ESOH I think we can be that driving force for companies to make those changes and increase and better the technologies that they have in place to reduce the emissions.”

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