I write from a friend’s house in Lehigh Acres, Florida, with Hurricane Irma, the strongest storm ever produced by the Atlantic, swirling around me. They so generously offered us shelter in their home, as ours could very well be underwater once the storm surge hits. Barely two weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas, with stories and photographs coming from Houston and the surrounding areas making headlines across the globe. Behind Harvey and Irma come Jose in the Atlantic and Katia in the Gulf of Mexico.
Even more shocking than the quantity of hurricanes is their sheer, specifically those of Harvey and Irma. This is not normal. It is, however, a symptom of a sick planet, of climate change caused not by our planet’s natural cycles, but by humans who, for centuries, have been more concerned with splendor than sustainability. Humans that put convenience over conservation, and profit over people.
We’ve gotten better over time, as more and more begin to recognize how our actions have negatively affected the planet, we’ve developed new technologies and new methods through which to save our home. However, none of this matters if we can’t inspire a passion for Earth and in future generations. If we don’t do that, we have failed, regardless of any tangible progress we make towards a healthier home.
So, Tomorrow, I promise to do everything in my power to inspire you, to lead you, and to leave you an Earth that is healthier than it was when I first came into it. To paraphrase Terry Tempest Williams, what matters most is not what you’re willing to die for, but what you’re willing to live for. I am willing to live for the betterment of the planet I love so dearly, and I hope my life implores you to do the same.