Climate Action: It’s Now or Never!

Published on Jul 25, 2019

A World in Peril

Today, we face a difficult truth. At our current rate, the world as we know it will soon cease to exist.

Already, students have massed in protest and have skipped class to draw attention to the most pressing issue in our society today: climate change. Walkouts and events for climate action have taken the globe by storm. The noble, selfless efforts of a single Swedish girl ultimately led to the mobilization of thousands.

Greta Thunberg was one of the first students to speak out about the necessity of action regarding the climate crisis. When she began protesting in August 2018, she was patronized by adults that wanted her back in a school classroom.

Despite the criticism, Thunberg’s story has gained traction. Her cry for justice has been echoed by thousands of other voices—scientists, conservationists, dreamers, lovers, fighters, activists, and children just like her—who see our beautiful world as it is: in peril.

These environmental protests around the world are endeavoring to create a brighter future for everyone. Earth is a beautiful gift that we have been fortunate enough to inherit. Yet, decades of ignorance and inaction threaten to destroy an already deteriorating planet.

The Clock is Running

Scientific projections by the UN in October 2018 have given us a narrow trajectory of just 11 years to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. Now, that estimate is starting to appear too generous.

Climate change is not a silent presence in our midst. We are no strangers to the effects it is already having on our lives. Severe weather events and climate hazards have become shockingly normal across the globe. Intense droughts, mass floods, wildfires that paint our skies gray with smoke, and increasingly destructive hurricanes are the realities we face.

Curbing the negative effects of climate change requires rapid and extensive solutions. However, not enough is being done to combat this global crisis.

Those in power have not only failed us, but they are stealing the future of every civilian through their negligence. Instead of tackling the climate issue, politicians are more interested in forcing the rising generation to carry the burden of climate justice.

In today’s consumerist society, all that seems to matter is money, convenience, and material possessions. What people fail to realize is that none of these superficial things will matter in a world ravaged by natural disasters, consumed by garbage, and starved of life.

Climate change is a danger that does not discriminate. It is a threat to all people no matter their age, race, or nationality.

Small Switches = Big Impacts

Enough is enough! It is up to us to use our voices. We must demand action in our communities, governments, and even among our friends and family. If we don’t. . . it may be too late.

No matter where you come from, this planet belongs to you! Procrastinating the development of solutions for the climate issue is no longer a luxury we can afford. Now, you have to decide if you’re willing to protect your home—this planet—for yourself and others.

An act of kindness has a ripple effect. The same can be said for being kind to the environment. Through small, simple changes, you can make a large impact. Your efforts may seem futile alone, but collectively, our choices can bring about necessary differences in our world.

Efforts can be as simple as:

  1. Bringing reusable bags to the grocery store
  2. Using Tupperware instead of single-use plastics
  3. Cutting out plastic straws
  4. Investing in a reusable water bottle
  5. Carpooling
  6. Planting more trees
  7. Recycling religiously and composting
  8. Informed voting
  9. Mindful shopping
  10. Changing diets

Although dietary changes are controversial, you don’t necessarily have to become a vegan or a vegetarian to make an impact. Even cutting out red meat and fish from your diet a couple of times a week can help. Methane, a harmful greenhouse gas produced in large quantities on cattle farms, is extremely detrimental to the environment especially when coupled with the harms of overfishing.

You might not be able to accomplish a feat like marching to the Amazon Rainforest and stopping deforestation singlehandedly, but these easy fixes add up. With a small change, the ripple effect of environmental kindness can be enacted!

Finally. . . We Need to Change our Perspective

The Earth is beyond all hope.
Let it never be said that
Even one person’s adjustment to living green can make a difference.
That is completely inaccurate, in fact.
Nobody is willing to fight to save the environment.
We were wrong to believe
People care about recycling, conserving water, picking up garbage, and working to stop climate change.
It is time to give up.
We will never exclaim
The future can be bright for the world and its inhabitants.
Because when you stop to take a closer look,
There is consumerism, greed, and selfishness.
Even if
We want to make a positive impact,
There are obstacles we cannot overcome.
It is a lie that
It isn’t too late to reverse the damage.
Believe me,
Destruction,
Is greater than
Creation,
Happy endings are just for fairytales.
We will never believe
The ashes of our trees and planet won’t be underfoot.
Children will grow up with only pictures to tell them what life on earth looked like.
There is no way that
The world doesn’t have to be a desolate wasteland devoid of beauty, hope, and love.
Our future is what we make it.

(All of this could be true. . . unless we choose to change our perspective.
Now, read those words the other direction.)

Hi! My name is Jillian and I'm a 16-year-old junior at Mead Senior High School in Spokane, WA. I'm an avid learner, athlete, musician, artist, and writer with an addiction to bubble tea, chocolate, and books! In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, playing soccer, stargazing, robotics, leadership activities, volunteering, environmental conservation, and spending time with my friends and family (which includes my beautiful, fluffy Samoyed Nikkita). 🙂

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Jillian, thank you for a phenomenal article on climate change and the call to action! Fortunately, if your generation chooses to act by example and powerfully lobbies those in power to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle, then we do have hope. Greta Thunberg would be proud of your call to action. Send this article to her!

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