#2 First Exploration of My Topic

When I thought about the topic I wanted to pursue, I chose the denial and acceptance of climate change. I am hoping to look into why people deny it and why other accept it. I then want to look into what we can do to make more people accept the fact that our world is changing and we have to fix it. For this first step into research, I decided to interview my mother, Rebecca, and my two friends Ava and Lena. Here’s what they said.

Rebecca, Lena, and Ava all said it was definitely an issue, but Ava knew less about it than Lena and Rebecca did, who are both very interested and involved in the issue of climate change. This made me wonder if there is enough education about climate change that’s up-to-date in schools. They also mentioned the effects of climate change. Ava talked about rising temperatures and more storms. Lena talked about melting ice caps. Rebecca mentioned sea levels rising, species dying off, and ocean acidification. These all affect our food and resources and how quickly they diminish. If we don’t change our ways now, we won’t be able to sustain ourselves and nor will 40% of the species on Earth.

All three of my interviewees had ways of reducing our carbon footprint. Rebecca and Lena talked about switching to all electric vehicles and Ava mentioned the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle). Rebecca also said that reducing how much red meat we eat, our energy consumption needs to go down, and we need to fly less. Another thing Lena talked about was using renewable housing systems. But as Rebecca said, “It’s financially hard to do what it takes to reduce energy consumption.” and “We really need leadership on state, federal, and even social levels to make a solution happen”.

When I asked why people deny climate change, Rebecca stated that “people deny climate change because they’re afraid of it and we can’t emotionally hand the thought of the world ending”, but also said, “Deniers are a smaller minority that get a lot of press. Most people accept climate change, but acceptance doesn’t translate into daily behavior.” Ava also mentioned that some people do it because they want business and don’t want to have to give up their comforts for something that doesn’t seem possible, which is like something Rebecca also said. Lena said something that was interesting to me that I hadn’t thought about. She thought people deny climate change because they can’t think of something bigger than themselves that they can’t control.

After hearing everyone’s opinions, I wonder what other people think. I have been exposed to people who are very progressive towards climate change because Vermont’s a pretty progressive state. But I want to know why people deny it from people who are actual deniers. I also want to talk to scientists who research this issue and see what we really need to do to meet the Paris Accords. I was surprised by the difference between knowledge between someone who doesn’t look into climate change versus someone who is very interested and worried about it. I wonder if we can incorporate more education on the topic and how quickly things have gotten worse than they were 5 years ago. I am looking forward to doing more interviews and research on this topic and can’t wait for the opportunities to do so this upcoming course.





Antropov, Alex. Earth Render 2. 5 Mar. 2017.

Ashooh, Lena. 24 Sept. 2017.

Lindenmeyr, Rebecca. 24 Sept. 2017.

Oglesby, Ava. 24 Sept. 2017.




Elsa Lindenmeyr

7 Responses to “#2 First Exploration of My Topic

  • Laurie Hickey
    5 years ago

    Hi Elsa,

    I wonder about the generational differences in those who believe and don’t believe in climate change. I don’t know if Ava and Lena are agemates of yours or not, but I wonder if and how age affects perception. I agree with your writing about people’s fears in relation to this topic. I think so much of this is a) people doubt they can make a difference so why sacrifice and b) the problem seems huge and one person can’t make a dent in it..
    I don’t know if you’ve ever listend to the podcast The Daily (New York Times) but they had a really interesting show last week where they followed a delegation of politicians from the islands that have been hammered by hurricanes this month as they travelled to the UN to ask for relief from the developed nations that are causing global warming. It might be worth a listen because one of the nations is calling their citizens climate change refugees.

    Lastly, I wonder as you explore this topic how you will ultimately winnow it down such a wide spanning issue into a story that will inspire change. Such important work!!


    • Hi Laurie,
      Ava and Lena are both my age, but Lena is an activist and Ava is your everyday student. Your comment on age differences has me wondering what over variables can effect someone’s opinion on climate change. I have not heard or listened to The Daily, but I will be sure to look into it this week. Thank you for the recommendation. This is important work and I hope to make it easier for people to understand each other so we can work together to fix this enormous problem that faces us.

      Thank you so much,

      • Laurie Hickey
        5 years ago

        Hi Elsa,
        Quick thought about your topic.
        What about climate change and its impact on the Vermont ski industry (especially cross country) or the Vermont maple industry? Just a flash this morning on your topic and a local twist.
        Happy Friday,

        • Hi Laurie,
          I’ve never thought about that, but I did see somewhere something about it but just haven’t really looked into it. I’ll check it out!


  • Laurie Hickey
    5 years ago

    Laurie again.
    I just read my post to you of a few minutes ago.
    It is riddled with errors. I’m sorry for that and I wish I had proofed and edited it before I hit “submit.”
    My only excuse is that I am zapped by the heat and it’s the end of a long day. Please know that I will be more thorough in the future.

  • Hi Elsa,
    I think this will be a very interesting topic to pursue because it’s so very relevant to today! It will be interesting to get two different perspectives on how people are looking at climate change. I actually met someone this summer who didn’t believe in climate change this summer, and I didn’t believe before then that those sort of people actually existed, but it’s just so interesting. I think this’ll be a good one!

    • Hi Caroline,
      Yes, I am very excited for the opportunity to answer the questions I have been asking myself since I found out people didn’t believe in climate change, but to also help spread understanding of both sides so we can come to a way to work together faster and more effectively. Thank you for your comments!

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