Environmental concerns lead towards electric vehicles


Staff Photo by Maddie Policastro

Electric cars are thrust into the spotlight as the fear of climate change takes hold of many.

Maddie Policastro, Photography Editor

The age-old threat of global warming has been thrown into the limelight in recent years, causing many to scramble for more eco-friendly alternatives. From sustainable clothing to vegan diets, many have discovered new ways to help the environment they wish to protect. The most popular product to come from this eco-activism renaissance would arguably be electric cars. 

Advertised as the latest advancement in the car industry, these vehicles have certainly taken the world by storm with nearly 122,106 being sold in March of 2021 alone. Environmentalists everywhere praise the cars for their lack of emitted pollutants, as electric car owners reduce their CO2 emissions by over 177,758,804 kg, which translates to roughly 391,891,080 tons of waste. 

High school sophomore Jordan Lopez is one such individual who sees the environmental benefits of electric cars.

“The gasoline that we put in our cars every day is really bad for the environment,” Lopez said. “The electricity makes it more eco-friendly.”

Gasoline has certainly proven to be a formidable foe in the fight against climate change. When gasoline is burned, byproducts such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen and carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is especially harmful due to the fact that it is a greenhouse gas which is a type of pollutant that traps heat in the atmosphere.

With these harmful environmental effects in mind, freshman Zoe Ruden recognizes the benefits that these cars bring and expresses a strong desire to own one in the future.

“I think I probably will [own an electric car] in the future because they are getting more popular,” Ruden said.“A few years ago, I never saw any Teslas or any kind of electric car, but now we see at least three every time we go out.”

I just think it’s better to be more open-minded to [electric cars] and work towards it instead of just hating on it.”

— Schug

This rising popularity that Ruden expressed comes with its own set of challenges. As with most discussions surrounding environmental concerns, many are rather skeptical of the movement towards electric vehicles.

High school biology teacher Eric Schact is currently in the market for an electric car and sheds some light on the possible cause for this apprehension. 

“I think there’s still a negative perception about electronic vehicles,” Schact said. “That’s kind of with anything when you’re talking about changing your life. ‘I’m never going to trade out my gas vehicle’ because it’s what we’re used to.”

Skepticism is a topic with which many environmental activists are rather familiar. According to a 2021 study, only 21 percent of individuals believe climate change is somewhat important, with 19 percent saying the issue isn’t important at all. 

Horticulture teacher Hayden Schug believes this unease largely comes from a lack of education which he hopes can be fixed in the future. 

“I just think it’s better to be more open-minded to [electric cars] and work towards it instead of just hating on it,” Schug said. 

Schug states that there’s no right or wrong way to go about the climate crisis, yet it is important to have open discussions on such matters.

“It’s hard when it’s gas versus electric, and people are on two sides of the aisle,” Schug said. “There’s a happy medium to it too.”