Editorial note: the below blog was written by Sasha Pearson, age 13 and the daughter of ICCI founder and director Pam Pearson. Sasha has often attended climate conferences and negotiations, but recent changes to UNFCCC rules prohibit participation by those under age 18 except under special circumstances so Sasha wrote this “outside the gates” at the June UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies meetings where she earlier was a familiar face and “assistant” at side events and other functions. The “Youngo” Youth Organizations constituency at UNFCCC meetings is trying to get this rule amended to allow greater participation by what they note is the generation most likely to be affected by negotiation outcomes.
I feel as though the problem this Earth is facing us is so obvious, but people just look at their lives now in 2013 and shrug the problem off. Climate Change has been a sneaky intruder for about the last one hundred years, but now it has struck. Climate Change is here now, we have nothing to wait for. It’s arrived.
Words are a strong thing, but we must act physically in any way we can now, if we will have any chance of defeating it. For once, can we just act as one world and not different nations all the time, and agree on what to do with this problem? This matter would never have happened if we could just have decided together what to do towards this problem in the first place. But unfortunately people are too selfish to even care about their grandchildren, to try and help the world and forget about money for a while. Money should be the least important thing right now. People look at their lives now, with their large houses, iPhone 5’s and three gasoline inhaling cars and hardly think about what greenhouse gases they are spreading out into the world.
We should be concerned about not just humans. Right this second a species is going extinct because of us. The Golden Toad, the Baiji Dolphin and the Hawaiian Crow are all gone. They will never be seen again, even if we can cool down this planet. There are also several species that are dying radically. There are only about 20-25 thousand polar bears left in the whole world, 60% living in Canada. These are innocent animals struggling and dying because of us wanting more money, larger cars and more oil. Don’t you feel guilt? Don’t you feel ashamed? We are the most intelligent species on the planet; can’t we use that in a good way? What do you think another species thinks of us? We should set a good example of Earth, not destroy it.
This is not just our planet, we share it, and we have the right to keep it clean healthy and safe, not take it over and demolish the things on it and the Earth itself. Your kids will live a hard life. They will suffer because of you. Do you want that for them, or do you want your three cars? Why do the oil companies protest to keep hurting the Earth? They know it’s wrong. Oh, I forgot. Money! All anyone cares about is money. I will have to suffer when I grow up, and will have to see my kids suffer with the heat and I will have to see them be hungry, and the same with my great grandchildren. We will all suffer, from the heat, the loss of plants and the new weather changes. Do you wonder why more hurricanes and floods are striking now? It’s not bad luck, it’s a result of climate change.
We all read books about the world ending, well it’s ending now, and if we don’t put a stop to it this story will not have a happy ending, even for countries in the north like Russia. This world will become a lot hotter, and a lot blander. The world will be very different. The world will not be a tropical paradise. Oh, it will be hot, but not luxurious. The ocean will rise, flooding a large portion of this planet. We will lose many places including the Maldives, Bangkok, Tokyo, the Great Barrier Reef, Venice, London along the River Thames. These places, having been homes to people and animals for centuries will be gone because of sea level rise and hurricanes and other weather disasters which will occur if global warming keeps increasing.
I could go on for a lot longer, but the whole point of my writing is to spread the word that we have to do something, we have to; it’s not an option. Superman will not be here to save the world, we are. Many voices can do anything, we just have to use them, and not hope for someone else to take care of the mess we have made. I am only a puny 13 year old, but I figure, maybe if one strong voice brings a message, then maybe you can bring the message to others and so on. If you expect a miracle, too bad for you, it isn’t happening. If we work together and sort out this problem, that will be a miracle.