The World Today: Environmentalism at BDHS


The continuous construction along Nokesville Road is both a source of annoyance for drivers and an environmental concern.

Alannah Post, Editor-in-Chief

Environmental concerns have been in present American media dating back to the late 19th century, and the environmentalist movement has only expanded since. Recently, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC) released a frightening report on climate change that paints a bleak picture of the world’s consumption and expulsion of harmful greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere. According to the report, if the world as a whole does not completely abandon fossil fuels in favor of cleaner energy sources within the next two decades, the adverse effects will be catastrophic. Even with the transition, however, there will still be consequences of climate change – it is a cycle of ice ages and devastating heat waves, something that cannot be prevented, but human action has made a serious impact on the speed with which the cycle moves.

The effects can already be experienced closer to home. In the last dozen years, Virginia has experienced five out of the top 10 warmest years on record, revealing a trend of unusually warm annual temperatures throughout the nation. In the Pacific Ocean, a pattern referred to by climatologists as an “El Niño” made 2016 the hottest year on record worldwide.

Not only is there climate change to be conscious of, but also the razing of trees around the world, a phenomenon that only exacerbates the greenhouse gas crisis. Depleting the source of oxygen that helps clean out the atmosphere is bound to have negative consequences. A notorious example is the Amazon rainforest area, where many environmental activists and local residents are protesting the cutting of thousands of trees for lumber. Specifically to BDHS, many students and staff are well aware of the continual roadwork and construction along Route 28/Nokesville Road. This activity is not just a source of annoyance when roads are closed, but many have noticed the destruction of trees along these roads to make way for more lanes.

Seeking to bring attention to this issue and others like it is senior Charlotte Moore, founder and president of BDHS’ Environmental Club. Moore is pushing for a more environmentally-conscious agenda in Nokesville, like planting trees in the community to replace those lost through construction or cleaning up trash after sporting events. “We’re visiting water treatment plants and talking to them about what we can do to have a cleaner water supply,” said Moore. “I want to educate the school about environmental issues both in the community and globally.” It is a daunting task, given how many Americans tend to treat these such issues and their activists as for “hippies” or “tree-huggers” instead of problems that have serious consequences if they go unchecked. But young people have always been the ones spearheading the environmentalist movement, most famously during the 1960s, and Moore sees no reason why BDHS should be an exception.