Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Should We Worry For the Future?

Today, I had to take a general paper for AICE Exams (a different version of AP/IB exams) and one of the questions I had to write an essay about was "To what extent should today's generation worry about global warming and climate change?"
And I know most teens (heck, many adults as well) will roll their eyes at this, scoff, call me a hippie, show me that there's evidence that all of these extreme consequences won't happen for a while, etc.
But the truth is I really am worried about the future of this planet, and so should everyone who inhabits this Earth.
We are already seeing the effects of global warming, climate change, etc. on this planet and we have been for several decades. We've been taught about carbon emissions, about greenhouse gases, about the hole in the ozone layer that's just getting bigger and bigger--and as a direct result of human pollution.
We've seen the long list of species on this planet today that are on the endangered list, very quickly making it to the extinct list. Wild tigers could be gone in 12 years. Polar bears are slowly dying off as their habitat is melting away and they find it harder and harder everyday to survive. Species in rainforests, such as lemurs, are finding it harder and harder to find a place to live because of deforestation.
These occurrences aren't an entirely new concept. But it makes me wonder why no one ever does anything significant to stop it? Just the other day, President Obama delayed smog protections until 2013 ("President Barack Obama has announced that he has requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards that would have protected Americans from air pollution.").
My question is: why does everyone pass on the responsibility of taking steps to stop the planet from sinking into further deterioration? Why does everyone ignore it, put it at the back of their heads? This isn't an issue that can just be ignored, because sooner or later, it will come back and bite us in the butt.
Or, more literally, show up in the consequences of the future in the lack of resources (clean water, clean air, clean land, fuel to run our lives). We depend on this earth to live, and it's our responsibility to try and treat it in the best way possible.

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