Without a doubt, my greatest fear about losing the resources we have in the environment is that there may come a point where my kids no longer have the opportunity to relish the diversity that is out there. Instead, they may grow in a worrisome and tenuous world.
If you keep up closely with environmental news, 2050 is the heavily reported tipping point where if nothing is done, the environment will undergo serious decline.
Now, if the average age of adults who have a child in the U.S is 25 years old and I am 18, that would mean that I have my first child in 2024. Now, my earliest memory I have is from around 5 years old so let’s assume that my child reaches the age of five before enjoying and remembering their experiences in the outdoors. Now the year is 2029 and that gives just 21 years for the world to get our act together before the environment reaches a point of no return. Meanwhile, my child is continuously reaching the age where the world is their problem and no longer mine.
When I look at it from that perspective, I wonder at the world I leave for my child to clean up. I don’t have children at all and it will be many years before I do but I think about my own position and grow frustrated at the generations before me that knew we had to do something and just sat on their hands. How is it that we as Americans always think the problem will be solved by someone else? It is up to us to set an example and I am sick and tired of all the finger pointing happening in the world. Yes, China contributes just as much greenhouse gas emissions as the U.S. but, wake-up, they have THREE TIMES the population count that we do. How can any parent in their right mind say that they want their children to have the best life possible and yet turn a blind eye to the perils of the environment?
Because what awaits them in their prosperous future where no action is taken will be global sea level rise, droughts, extreme weather in all forms, and a plethora of health maladies that will only continue to worsen long after we are gone.
The world we leave behind for the generation of my future children is bleak. And it is not in my power to control. One person living as green as possible will not make a dent on the environmental health of the world. Only if collective action is taken by the people that can make sweeping changes can there be a future for my children to enjoy.
Today, I saw that the African Black Rhino has been declared officially extinct. This comes not long after a Bumblebee species was placed on the endangered species list.
If these things are not enough of an indication that this world is so bent on making the most money possible, then I fear there may come a day where I have to apologize to my children for the actions of humanity.
Is that a talk you would look forward to? That appears to be the direction I am headed in.
Our current president is the physical manifestation of the worst aspect of climate denial; that it is money driven. The fact of the matter is that since the environment is not good for business, it’s not good for America.
And that is a shallow, selfish, insular view of the natural world.
The word environmentalist is not a word for hippies and tree-huggers any longer. It is a word for people who own a good conscience.
Without it we, collectively, condemn later generations to climate chaos.
Who in their right mind approves of that in exchange for money?
That is why I’m here. That is why this 18-year-old high school kid is compelled to write.
He must clean up the mess. And he has to do it fast.
Will you join me?