The Unavoidable

None of us ever thought that climate change would affect our lives, but as we grew older, that all changed. We have all noticed some sort of climate change activity. We know we are just two 12-year-olds in sixth grade, but we are both very mature and have strong opinions on climate change. Our earth is being destroyed, and we are the problem. Most people don’t understand that in 50 years our earth will not be the same. We will be lucky if we are alive then. The best plan of action is our own lifestyles. It could be as simple as walking more or making sure you put your recycling in the recycle bin. These small changes won’t just make you feel better but also will make our earth a better place. 

If we don’t make a huge change in our water usage, we could face drastic freshwater shortages in the future. Our population is increasing, which means there will be even more water usage. Studies show that by 2040 we will not have enough freshwater for our whole population. How can you save water? Well, you could turn off the water when brushing your teeth or washing the dishes, if you don’t use a dishwasher. We know 2040 seems far away, but it really isn’t; it is less than 20 years. If we want living creatures to still be living creatures in 20 years, then we have to make a change. 

There is a certain place that resides in between the California coast and Hawaii called the Pacific Garbage Patch. This is an ocean of garbage and trash that is twice the size of Texas. The trash in the ocean breaks down into microplastics; these GHG emissions kill ocean organisms. One of these organisms is plankton which removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Whenever you take a walk on the beach, you can see trash and litter plaguing marine life and killing innocent sea creatures. We see this drastic change in the water quality in the ocean and the health of ocean animals. Nowadays, we barely see any marine life thriving on open beaches, and it is all because of us. If we want to continue to live in harmony with nature, we have to actually participate in change. 

In our hometown of Cinnaminson, New Jersey, the weather has drastically changed. We used to get the “leftovers” of the tornados and hurricanes, but now we have actually experienced one. Heavy participation causes more floods and higher rising sea levels. The burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause of all of this. These gasses and coal are burning through the ozone layer, causing more heat to come in. When we were younger, we would love the spring weather and how it was the perfect temperature. Climate change, however, has turned the spring weather into summer weather, sometimes making spring excruciatingly hot.

We don’t have much time. We are racing against this awful change, and if we don’t act on this soon, climate change will win. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. That is absolutely insane. By 2040, there won’t be enough freshwater for our whole population. That is terrifying. We are experiencing more hurricanes and tornadoes. We still are very fortunate that we don’t get as many as the more southern states, and ours don’t cause as much damage, but it is still pretty scary. This is all happening so quickly, and it is hard to take it all in. We have to make a change, and this change has to be quick.

Imogene Urbano and Isaiah Bull

Imogene Urbano (she/her) and Isaiah Bull (he/him). Grade 6, Westfield Friends School and Westfield Meeting in Cinnaminson, N.J.

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