In the year 2016 I am lucky enough to live in a world, where we have created the most amazing technology mankind has seen since it was created. I’m unlucky enough to see the complexity of the natural world being destroyed to create the technology that has carried us so far.
I know the projections for the future in 50 years or a hundred. I know how sea levels are going to rise and the ice will continue to melt. I know how this marks the sixth mass extinction of life on earth and how the oceans are becoming acidic. The numbers and statistics are always buzzing around in my head. When the news screams about another oil spill or the extinction of a rare species my heart aches and my eyes fill with tears.
I study environmental science because it’s my way to save the world. I eventually want to do research and come up with solutions for the problems that humans have themselves created. For now, I’m doing the best I can. I pick up the trash I see and try to only use reusable items and turn off the lights and don’t eat meat and do all those things that the older scientists tell me to do.
I am slowly learning how to take care of myself in a way that takes care of the earth. We cannot continuously hate that our existence is hurting the environment. We need to reject the idea that we have to either accept that we damage the earth or not exist. Instead we have to figure out how to make it so we’re not damaging the earth. It’s only after seeing the problem that we can begin to fix it.
One of the biggest problems about the environmental crisis right now is that we don’t talk about it enough. There’s an election next week and the topic has been neglected to be mentioned even once in the debates. Eyes are quick to roll when the conversation comes up and it is ignored but like a bleeding wound this can only be ignored for so long.
I cannot apologize for all of the damages that have been put onto the earth. I can’t say I’m sorry to the climate refugees who have been forced out of their homes. I cannot say sorry to the millions of animals who are killed by the human impact. I cannot say sorry because apologizing alone doesn’t do anything. Instead I say let us hope and let me help.
I can help by studying the earth and coming up with solutions. I can help by making people talk about these big problems and forcing the weight of their burden onto those around me. I alone, cannot fix climate change because I alone was not responsible for it. And I can hope that someday everyone shares my concern and love for the earth that we live on.
Dear Future, I hope that there is still hope. I hope that the future is a world where there’s still coral reefs. That there are still sprawling forests filled with creatures. I hope that the rivers have not dried up and that the glaciers have slowed their melting. I hope that we can still save this big beautiful world.