Earth Day—the time for politely asking for help, signing a petition to save the bees, turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth and reminding your kids to reduce, reuse, recycle once a year on Earth Day is over.
We just don’t have the luxury of time anymore, so in writing this, I have to ruffle some feathers. I see articles here and there that focus on sharing the viewpoint of “young people” on our environment and climate change, written by someone who is definitely not young but an expert in writing with sprinklings of five- to seven-word contextless quotes from actual young people.
It is insulting to the nth degree that the sentiment of an entire generation is represented by the cherry picked words of any reporter. So, here is how I really feel as a young person who, if given more than two minutes to really think about it, is terrified at what is already happening and of what I have the honor of watching implode in the years to come.
I do not speak for my generation, only for myself, in saying that among those who understand climate impacts, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone under 25 who isn’t scared to death.
Reader, the world as you know and love it is gone. There may be the odd year of colder climes and wetter winters that “remind you of how things used to be around here,” but those are the odd ones out. And not only are people dying because of it, but I have a message to both those who actively and naively fight against climate adaptation and mitigation progress with unfounded arguments and those not malicious in their compliance with the political and social norm: Do something about it. Not for our sake, but for yours.
We all have to live on this rock, and it’s not just the next generation’s problem. It’s yours too. Get up, vote, work and act like your life depends on it.
A member of the often misquoted and rarely represented “youth”