In recent years New Hampshire has been known as the swing state of the north. With one election going red and the other blue, New Hampshire is considered purple a purple state in the political field. Knowing this, I found that interviewing people of all different opinions (red, blue, purple), was very interesting. I was able to get opinions of 30 different people between the ages of 13-81. I am eager to share my results.
Beginning with the question “Do you think burning fossil fuels, is contributing to climate change and its effects?” we tried to grab the interviewee with a simple yes or no question. The majority answered with “yes”, “of course”, “definitely”, but the true dialogue came when my peers and I asked, “Why?” The looks on peoples faces were priceless, assuming that they had nailed the question and then being taken aback by the “why.”
Several explanations were simply that the proof behind it is obvious — it is just a matter of who it is directly affecting. Although a few people did say no, they do not think that fossil fuels are impacting climate change, I believe that this might come from the idea that if it is not directly affecting someone they generally care less about it. A recent article in The Guardian stated that climate change, caused by an extreme amount of fossil fuels, is beginning to affect our food sources. This affects everyone because if there is no food there is no life.
“How do you feel about President Trump’s decision to approve construction for the Dakota Access Pipeline — even after protests from the Native Americans in the area and the numerous environmental risks associated with the pipeline?” This question was definitely our most controversial, considering that it involves political views. One concept brought up that was interesting to me had to do with car fuel, gasoline. One response — “I use oil, I have a car and I fill it up with gas and if we ran out of gas I’d be bummed out. I mean when the price of gas goes up I feel bad about that too, so I’m kind of a hypocrite…” — really got me thinking, “well wouldn’t that make most of us hypocrites?”
Think about it: every 15 year old is waiting to turn 16 to get a new car, which needs gasoline (producing carbon emissions). Or if your phone dies, what do you do? You plug it up to an outlet, which is generated by electricity, which also produces carbon emissions. Until we can find an inexpensive source of power that is accessible to all people, we cannot take away all our oil pipelines. This is not specifically speaking on the Dakota Access Pipeline because my opinions differ. I believe that this action strips people away from heritage, home, and family. It is erasing people’s culture to please the greedy. This case is another example of taking away the Native Americans homeland.
Our third and final question was “How do we divert people’s attention from focusing on the big issues vs. smaller issues; real problems vs. flashy news?” A few people said that it was up to our generation, we have news at our fingertips so use it wisely. Others said that sometimes it’s good to see the flashier things. If we are constantly being bombarded with terrible events, it would leave us anxious and scared. Overall it is just a matter of educating people in knowing that taking a break from Snapchat isn’t the worst thing in the world. As well as making sure that from a young age people understand how to differentiate importance from unimportance and truth from falsehood in the case of the media.
From climate change to the saving of cultures, I was able to get these purple state opinions on each topic. The way the media influences opinions and how education is a must. While moving forward on these matters we must come together as citizens to grasp and understand what we want OUR future to look like. So, are you in?