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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 8:40 pm | Fair 49º


Essay: Let’s All Carpool to Combat Global Warming

California law makes the Earth a victim of newly licensed teenage drivers

I just got my driver’s license, and I felt super cool when I drove around Santa Barbara — even if it was to the supermarket to pick up something for my mom. But after the initial cool factor wore off, I realized that 16-year-old drivers are not environmentally conscious.

California law states that for the first 12 months of licensure, one may not transport passengers younger than age 20, so teenage drivers have stopped carpooling. Students who used to carpool to school with their neighbor no longer do so. Now, everyone drives their own car. As a result, more fossil fuel is burned, and our Earth has become a victim of newly licensed teenagers.

My family is big on the environment and Earth-saving activities.

For instance, my mom, Madhu Khemani, who is a Realtor, is big on carpooling and has always rallied for carpools — not only for school but for all of our after-school activities, such as basketball and soccer, and big events. My dad, Kishan, a biodegradable plastics and renewable/sustainable materials scientist for the past 15 years, believes in recycling. He always said it would be better for the environment.

Now, after a long time, I realize that both my mom and dad were right.

Carpools should be resurrected. While we may not see why now, in the long run, our Earth will thank us.

— Juhi Khemani is a student at Dos Pueblos High School.

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