Scientist highlights climate issues

Josh Fisher of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory talks about climate change in a presentation that took place at the Holy Name of Mary Parish in San Dimas. The event “Caring for Our Common Home” was held on Sept. 24, the same week Pope Francis made his historic visit to the United States. The presentation was an effort by members of the church to learn more about the topic and to reflect on Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment./ photo by Kristina Bugante
Josh Fisher of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory talks about climate change in a presentation that took place at the Holy Name of Mary Parish in San Dimas. The event “Caring for Our Common Home” was held on Sept. 24, the same week Pope Francis made his historic visit to the United States. The presentation was an effort by members of the church to learn more about the topic and to reflect on Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment. / photo by Kristina Bugante

Brooke Grasso
Metro Editor

Holy Name of Mary Parish church in San Dimas hosted the environmental awareness event, “Caring for our common home” Sept. 24, to inform community members on the issue of global warming.

“The public needs to know what’s going on in a clear way,” said climate scientist for NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory, Joshua Fisher. “We hear a lot about it in the media but, because it’s a complex topic, it is useful for people to hear it all cohesively together.”

Fisher used a PowerPoint presentation to explain to the crowd how global warming is occurring and the effects it will have on our future.

Fisher described “the human touch” as one of the major factors leading to our environmental situation.

Examples included the amount of cows we need for meat consumption because their gassiness releases methane into the atmosphere, and the amount of people driving cars.

“There are so many things a person can do to reduce their carbon footprint,” Fisher said. “The most important thing is to think about how much energy is required, if there are ways to do it with less energy use, that is helping.”

The presentation was set in basic terms so that someone with no previous knowledge on the subject could understand.

Fisher offered examples and facts of what is ruining our planet, like how the amount of energy trapped by human-made green house gases is equal to 400,000 atomic bombs exploding every day for 365 days.

He also showed a map of all of the McDonald’s in the world to prove how many cows our planet actually maintains.

“He took difficult concepts and distilled them in a humorous and intelligent way,” Gary Mitchell, director of Planet Rehab, said.

Planet Rehab is another environmental group in San Dimas that focuses on educating the community on how their diet affects the planet and what the average person can do to help stop the issue.

The event was brought on by Pope Francis’ recent letter, “Laudato Si – On Caring For Our Common Home.” The letter calls on society to work toward local and worldwide environmental change.

The church supported the environmental issue by using glass plates and cups as well as silverware instead of plastic or styrofoam.

Fisher finished with examples of what the everyday person can do to fight back against the destabilizing climate.

“You can turn on the air, or open the window,” Fisher said. “You can drive, or you can vanpool. There are many things to do from an individual stand point.”

Tyler Deacy, a sophomore business management major at ULV and the president of the club Students Engaged in Environmental Discussion, attended the event in support of environmental awareness.

His group, SEEDS, focuses on educating students and the community on the issue as well as service such as going on a hike and picking up trash.

Deacy said he enjoyed Fisher’s presentation and agreed with his easy to understand approach.

“Our goal is the same as his,” Deacy said. “To take all of this hard to understand mumbo jumbo and put it in to terms so the average person can get on board and help us out.”

Brooke Grasso can be reached at brooke.grasso@laverne.edu.

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