How Iceland became Green

By Grace Helmke

In an era of revolution and emerging awareness on all spectrums, environmental change, and the impact of humanity on planet earth, is a topic well discussed. But even with numerous papers published, research documented, and proof being given to confirm our planet’s great need for the development of environment friendly living, most of the world has yet to act upon this issue.

However, some countries have taken great strides in this mission; sustainability becoming their way of life. Iceland has been unofficially dubbed “poster child” of Nationwide sustainability, finding greener ways of life, and producing more renewable energy than anywhere else in the world. 

Iceland can thank their incredible geological features for allowing them access to plentiful hydro and geothermal resources. These natural assets account for over 85% of Iceland’s energy supply, and 100% of their electricity production.

When compared to the United States, this feat seems far more impressive. Our nation’s renewable energy production only makes up 11% of our supply, and 17% of electricity generated. This is such a significant achievement for Iceland because of the incredible good it can do for our planet. Generating energy from fossil fuels furthers air pollution and global warming. This contributes to eustatic change, intensified natural disasters, and temperature rise. 

Not only is Iceland a leader in renewable energy, but they have taken steps in educating their nation’s children on climate change, and the effects we have on our environment. Sustainability is one of the national requirements in the Icelandic education system. Students are taught what global warming is, and that it will continue to happen if nothing is done to change it.

This is in comparison to The United States’ system, where the teaching of climate change is optional, and largely not discussed for an extended period of time. 

Plastics are also a major concern when it comes to the environment. But starting in the summer of 2021, all single use plastics are being banned in Iceland. This includes: straws, cutlery, bags, and dishes. The only exception will be single use plastics required for medical reasons. All products sold in restaurants and fast food chains will now be reusable or biodegradable, including cutlery and packaging. 

Iceland has taken major steps in healing our environment for future generations. They lead all nations in renewable energy production, and have implemented changes to provide a better environmental education, and a tighter restriction on eco-friendly products. There’s no doubt there are more changes on the way, as other countries join Iceland in pursuit of a greener way of life. 

For more information, and more statistics on Iceland please visit:

https://visiticeland.com/article/renewable-energy

https://www.government.is/topics/business-and-industry/energy/

Why it’s important for the young to vote

By: Jihan Ali

When the idea of voting is mentioned to young adults, they push it off or avoid voting because they either don’t understand the voting process or they aren’t educated in politics. Many people don’t understand the impact of voting and how it can affect who becomes president. It is important for young adults to learn the voting process and why it is important to vote.

Voting is having a say on who, or what, you want, and it is usually a choice to the people. In the U.S., adults are given the option to vote, and it is strongly recommended to people.

You may wonder why you see so many flyers and advertisements around you. This year is an important year to vote because the president is being chosen so the media is encouraging young adults to vote.

Many people are trying to convince young adults because they want Trump out of office. According to Wells and Goods, Trump won in the swing states by less than one percent. This shows that your vote matters even if you think it doesn’t because of the population.

According to Dr. Cobb, your vote has power and it gives you the right to choose who you want as your president. Voting is an opportunity that many people should do because American citizens have the right to have their opinion on who we want as president.

If you’re underage, you may be wondering what you can do. You should first learn about how voting works by doing research or asking your parents. You can also volunteer at a polling place, if safe, to help others and know how it works on election day. You can also voice your opinions by talking to peers or reaching out to people of age so that they can vote.

Make sure you vote if you can on Tuesday November 3rd.

How AOC went from a bartender to a lawmaker

By: Elizabeth Woxland

Less than two years ago Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (known by her initials AOC) was a bartender in Manhattan. Today, she is the 28-year-old democratic socialist who unseated 10-term incumbent Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley (this also made her the youngest woman elected to Congress).

A brief bio of AOC, as reported by The New York Times reads:

She was born in the Bronx where half of the residents are immigrants, and 70 percent are people of color. AOC grew up with two working-class parents Her mother was born in Puerto Rico, and her father was from the South Bronx. She went to Boston University, where she studied economics and international relations. After graduation she took up bartending and waitressing jobs. The primary, in June 2018, was Ocasio-Cortez’s first run for office, but she had experience in politics. In college she worked for Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts on immigration issues, and she was an organizer for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign. AOC promoted Medicare for everyone, tuition-free college, criminal justice reform and ending private prisons. She also supports immigration reform, specifically abolishing ICE. At the time, AOC argued that Crowley — a 56-year-old white man— couldn’t properly connect with this diverse district.

AOCs journey to become elected to Congress was not easy. According to Business Insider, Crowley had not faced a primary challenger in 14 years. He also had raised nearly $3 million for his re-election campaign and spent about $1 million, while AOC raised just $600,000. Since AOC rejected corporate donations, over 70% of her campaign donations were under $200, compared with 0.78% of Crowley’s.

Yet, AOC put in the time to introduce and make herself heard. Democratic strategists and AOC herself attribute a lot of her victory to her aggressive door-to-door ground campaign. “We won because, I think, we had a very clear winning message, and we took that message to doors that had never been knocked on before.”  In comparison Crowley, who lives in Washington, sent a surrogate to one debate to take on AOC in his place.

AOC won the Democratic Party’s primary election for New York’s 14th Congressional District on June 26, 2018, which soon would lead her to representing New York’s 14th District in the midterms, and becoming the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

How COVID-19 has affected students’ education

By: Leslie Lopez Ibanez and Kayla Arellano

Image taken from: ps://napavalleyregister.com/opinion/article_c0d56bba-492b-5892-ac59-edf39607dec2.html

In December of 2020, a virus was discovered in Wuhan, China. The virus slowly went spreading worldwide creating a human pandemic. This virus is called the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and thousands of people have died from it. Some have recovered, but there is no cure for it yet.

To prevent the spread, there have been restrictions that caused all businesses and schools to shut down with only a few businesses open because they were deemed essential.

Now that the schools are closed, teachers are forced to be giving online classes. They are slowly opening everything back up, but still with restrictions, and it’s very difficult because school districts have to get their system approved on how they are going to manage to have all their students in school safely.

COVID-19 has affected student’s education in a couple different ways. Many schools around the U.S. have switched to full time online learning to prevent the spread of coronavirus and to social distance.

Other school’s have chosen to do part time online and part time in school.

Students K-12 are not being able to do face-to-face learning because of the restrictions. A family source informed the authors that because of this, parents are now taking their kids out of public schools to put them in private school because private schools are now open.

But not everyone can afford a private school, and are instead forced into isolation. They also can face depression and anxiety due to always being inside their house and not being able to go to school everyday.

Some students also don’t have equipment that the school provides for them like WiFi, food, and much more. A lot of families can’t afford WiFi, or an everyday meal for their kids, and a lot of students rely on the schools for that. 

Due to the pandemic, and school getting held back, student assignments are getting canceled or postponed. This is affecting students in a negative way because it’s interrupting their learning and they aren’t receiving the education they need.

Studies show that students have lost a large percentage of their learning skills, achievements in math and reading, and overall learning skills. According to brooking.edu, students are now showing low grades and are making less than 50% of educational gains, which may be putting them almost a year behind compared to when they were attending school. 

The class of 2020 graduation was also affected by COVID-19. College students have experienced teaching interruptions in the final parts of their studies. Instead of them graduating on time, they get to graduate at the beginning of a major global recession. As for high schoolers, they didn’t get the graduation they thought they would’ve had. Some schools did virtual graduation and some schools did a graduation ceremony, but having to be 6 feet apart or more without any family or friends being present. 

Many high school graduates have changed their mind about going to college and what they want to study for because of the crisis going on. Some of them are having a delay on college to start, or some of them just have decided to just work and not even go to college anymore. 

Even though all this negative stuff is happening, let’s look on the positive side!

Students are getting the chance for a new learning opportunity. Some people may find online school better for them and might just switch to online school learning from now on. People are also considering this because they find it more affordable and it’s a way to keep yourself socially distanced.

With all of this happening, this also means that there are more online resources for the students. More programs and educational resources are becoming available for students doing online classes.