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The climate crisis

Climate Strike activists sing chants while protesting. Photo by Michael Costa

In our last issue, The Cuestonian wrote an article about the recent climate strike that San Luis Obispo County residents participated in. 

The article reported how protestors gathered and organized to strike against San Luis Obispo government officials to demand more action be taken.

The news piece was an amazing article written by one of our best writers, Michael Costa. Though the story itself was great, there was one glaring issue, and our article isn’t alone in its error.

The problem lies within the vocabulary used to describe the climate crisis happening today. In the past, our newspaper and others have been calling it, “climate change.” As the Editor-in-Chief of The Cuestonian, I want to change our vocabulary.

From now on, we will be calling the climate conditions we face something that truly reflects what it is. The Cuestonian will be committed to making the distinction that it is a climate crisis and not just “climate change.”

Our job as journalists is to report what is fact. Our duty is to also reflect and be the voice of truth. At this point, it is a fact and it is the truth that the threat to our climate is an emergency.

Recently, a peer-reviewed report came out in which 11,258 scientists of differing fields declared the crisis an emergency.

“On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency,” the article stated.

At this point, the phrase “climate change” can’t grasp the gravity of the problem.

Our newspaper isn’t the only organization making this change. California Senator Kamala Harris has already changed her vocabulary in regards to the climate crisis.

“Well first of all, I don’t even call it climate change, it’s a climate crisis,” Harris said. “It represents an existential threat to us as a species.” 

Cuesta College’s Academic Senate Council, made up of Cuesta College faculty, adopted a resolution that stated its support of the recent local climate strikes.

The council’s resolution includes descriptions of the recent strikes, as well as its effect on students, staff, and faculty.

Climate Strike protestors in San Luis Obispo created posters that reflected their demands. Photo by Michael Costa