Sol on the Street: Climate change and is government doing enough?

May 8, 2024 /

The month of March marked the tenth consecutive month that had record-breaking temperatures, this is the hottest it has ever been in human history. More reports on the record-breaking temperatures can be found at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information website. The United Nations (UN) has also made reports warning the public that countries are not meeting their climate goals and the result of this can lead to an environmental catastrophe in the next decade.

As alarming as that sounds, locals in Kern County are already facing the realities of climate change every day as temperatures rise higher and higher. Unfortunately, it is only springtime and summer will bring with it triple-digit temperatures and high costs for running air conditioning units. Farm and factory workers will also be up against harsh environmental conditions working outside in the heat.

Kern Sol met up with a few residents to ask them about their thoughts on climate change and global warming: Do you think the government is doing enough to combat climate change? Why or Why not?

photo courtesy by Gustavo Aguirre Jr.

Gustavo Aguirre Jr., he/him
Climate and Environmental Justice Associate Director

“I think [the government] is doing the best that they can and at this point, it’s the bare minimum and probably too late, but they do have to act.

“Climate change is something that unfortunately we are already dealing with, especially in the San Joaquin Valley.” “We’re seeing a scarcity in farm working, in Central and South America, because of the industrialization of agricultural companies that just grow one crop…there’s less biodiversity in agriculture, meaning that folks have less options.”

“75 percent of all of California’s oil and gas production happens here in Kern County…There’s a lot of legacy pollution here in Bakersfield and Kern County.”

“If we had solar on everyone’s roof we would have enough- we wouldn’t need to destroy natural habitats,” Aguirre added that decarbonization and electrification are the two main investments needed for the community to divest from big companies like PG&E and empower the local economy.

photo courtesy by Cierra Newsom

Cierra Newsom, she/her

“I feel like the government is doing nothing. I just feel like they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do because I don’t know- that’s just my reasoning. I don’t really tune in to the weather and stuff. I do think that there are weird weather scenarios in different areas so…I do think global warming is going up. I’ve felt a change, because normally it’s cold and now it’s really hot.”

photo courtesy by Betty Garcia

Betty Garcia, she/her

“I don’t like it. The heat is bad, especially for people who can’t breathe right, who have asthma and lung problems- it’s not good. I think the government should be doing more for everybody, I think billionaires should be accountable because they’re polluting the air more than anyone else.”

photo courtesy by Adrii Rodriguez

Adrii Rodriguez, they/them

“I believe the government isn’t doing enough to fight climate change and global warming. They are not providing solutions or creating polices to make the environment safer and healthier for all humans.”

“We need to create a carbon neutral society when carbon being released in the atmosphere needs to be minimized.”

photo courtesy by Katrina Worthy

Katrina Worthy, she/her

“I think climate change is real and I think, me personally, the government controls the weather, and the clouds and everything. I don’t think anything is real, and I think that they use the weather and clouds and even rain to control our minds and the earth is gonna die out sooner than later because we don’t take care of our planet.”

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