“Grandpa! Grandpa!” I can hear my grandson calling me.
“What's the matter?” I answer quickly.
“In this documentary, they are talking about some Amazon Rainforest. Don’t they mean the Amazon Desert?” my grandson asks me in 2087.
It took me a while to explain to him that there used to be a rainforest in the Amazon area. If he had seen polar bears, he would have thought that they had painted ordinary ones white.
Sometimes I feel the urge to tell my grandchildren one simple thing: “I apologize. I apologize on behalf of all of us for cutting down most of the trees on Earth. I am sorry you have never been able to visit the Boka and Kotor, because all the ice has melted and the sea level has risen by 100 metres. I am sorry you think that rhinos are mythical beings. I am sorry for leaving you no Earth to enjoy. I am sorry we did not do anything to save it. I am sorry.”
And then I wake up from this nightmare…
Climate change is a fact. Almost everyday temperatures over 45 degrees Celsius are also a fact. Nothing can deny that. Global warming and the greenhouse effect are evident. Hence the prolonged droughts and periods of extreme cold.
People have heard about climate change, but it seems that everyone thinks it is happening far away, out there in America or Africa.
Did you know that one in five citizens in Montenegro thinks that global warming and climate change are fake news or – imagine this – a conspiracy theory?
Did you know that if we continue like this, we will not be able to walk along Hercegovacka Street in Podgorica?! Not only because it will be too hot to walk, but also because we will not be able to breathe underwater (since we will not become fish in the meantime).
If we continue like this, all the glaciers will melt, the sea level will rise, and with it the level of the River Bojana, then Lake Skadar and the River Moraca, and here is the new Atlantis – Podgorica.
Do you know how villagers take care of a sick tree? They do not start treating it from its branches and leaves, but from the root. Therefore, we should do the same – start from the root, from ourselves. Let’s change our awareness and our behaviour. And just don't say, "What can one individual do?"
You, little/big person reading these words, you can do anything. The power lies in us, the people. We are the planet.
So, instead of using a plastic bag, bring your own bag every day. Use your own bottle and refill it with water. Turn the tap off. Turn off the light when you don't need it. Plant a tree and water it regularly. Sort your waste and take it for recycling each time.
It all helps. Let’s do this every day for the sake of us and our descendants.
Balša is an 18-year-old student from Podgorica, Montenegro. He is in his final year of school and is very active in sports. He has been training in basketball for 7 years, and currently, he is training in water polo. He finished his first Olympic triathlon when he was 17. He launched a campaign of "osvijesti.me", which deals with ecology and the environment. Balsa is a member of the first team of 'UNICEF Volunteers - Young Reporters' formed in 2018 within the media literacy campaign 'Let's Choose What We Watch'