Out of the many issues that concern the earth today, I strongly believe in Climate change. Being a part of the generation Z and growing up with headlines stating “December 2012 is going to be the end of mankind”, “Melting glaciers end up in floods killing 100+ people” and “Summery Texas covered in snow”, I undoubtedly fear for my future because I personally don’t know if at all, I am actually going to have a future or not.
I believe that the first reason for climate change is negligence. We don’t realise that our simple acts can make a difference, even if its connection with climate isn’t direct (choices in diet or fashion for example). And this is because many of us don’t see it as a problem in the first place and are willingly ignorant to it, some refuse to confront the real solution, especially the flourishing businesses and capitalist mindsets in the fear that they might lose profits.
This brings me to my second reason--capitalism. Capitalism calls itself progress in the name of rising living standards and economic growth. Not only us but the governments needs to realise that not all progress is good for the earth. A high consumption and production rate will do nothing but cause doom whilst keeping our planet at stake. And this keeps me wondering why to do it in the first place when it’s bound to die.
I came to realise that we’ve been pushed into an unasked circle where the future is being sacrificed for the present. Climate change is happening right now and even if we reach zero carbon emissions today, global warming would still continue for years. Being a part of gen z, I don’t want to make the upcoming generations suffer because of our mistakes and negligence.
So what can we do as teens?
Fortunate enough were we that we were born in such a day and age where information is at our fingertips and voices can be heard from anywhere in the world.
To make a change, we must first change ourselves. We can start with small steps like not wasting water, food, resources etc; opting for thrift clothing and using local transportation or cycles.
Moving a step ahead we can host/attend community services. Community clean-up of the neighbourhood, talks on how to deal with the problem at a local level (this could be by informing the authorities to install solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems etc). This will induce a sense of belonging to not only you but also to the people around you. These acts will undoubtedly spark new ideas, that, if nurtured well, could become game-changing thoughts.
Lastly, spread the word around and contribute to the change. As teens we can make small organizations; join NGOs, write blogs, stories, poems so that people are firstly awarded and then encouraged to make a change.