SUNY Buffalo State hosted the first ever Western New York Youth Climate Action Summit on Saturday.
With more than 24 schools and 90 students in attendance, the summit addressed urgent issues concerning climate change and the greenhouse effect.
To many, the greenhouse effect is still an unfamiliar concept. A session during the summit focused on the basics of global warming.
Carbon dioxide and methane gas are produced daily, so they rise near Earth’s atmosphere and act as a blanket. Sun rays can enter Earth but cannot be reflected back into space due to the presence of these gasses.
In the United States alone, 390 million gallons of gasoline are consumed each day, producing 7 billion pounds of harmful emissions. Each gallon of gasoline, through combustion, yields 19 pounds of greenhouse gasses.
The waste amounts to more than the gasoline because oxygen is drawn from the air to bond with carbon dioxide. Pollution is a real problematic product of industry and automobiles.
Nominated by their teachers based on character, interest, academic achievement and leadership potential, all 90 students had one thing in common: an ambitious drive to combat climate change.
The summit went from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m., with a packed agenda centered around actionable skills.
Hands-on workshops such as a wind turbine-building competition were designed to develop and build relationships as well as foster trust and collaboration.
"I believe our generation has the power to slow down global warming and make a difference," said Jenny Mai, a Junior at Hutchinson Central Technical High School. "After all, we are the future."
Naagy Omar is a junior at City Honors.