This op-ed story was produced during the Fall 2020 Youth Voice Workshop.
Here’s why you should generate electricity in ways that don’t warm the Earth.
Coal and oil create greenhouse gases that change our atmosphere. Greenhouse gases become mixed into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.
In Australia, the rising temperatures in the ocean cause the coral to turn white and die in the Great Barrier Reef. Much aquatic life depends on coral as a place for food and shelter.
In California, there are wildfires that are spreading rapidly due to the rising temperatures.
The ice caps are melting in Antarctica, creating floods around the world.
Those fossil fuels are non-renewable, which means that we will eventually run out – unlike the sun, wind, water and nuclear power. We can convert to solar panels, hydroelectric machines, wind turbines and nuclear power plants.
I will admit that fossil fuels are more reliable. All of these options are more efficient when it comes to the environment, unlike the fossil fuels we use.
If one person contributes to changing how we make our electricity, it may inspire others to do the same.
When I was 10 years old, I remember going on a family trip and seeing a bear for the first time. It looked like a very large dog from afar. It looked hungry, like it could eat a 10-year-old girl. I was in shock. “Is this really real?” I thought to myself.
Today, global warming worries a lot of people as much as the bear worried me. Bears are my favorite animals and to hear that their homes could be stripped away by pollution makes me upset.
It worries me a lot. Once it’s gone, we cannot go back to how it was before. Let’s not lose Earth.
If global warming increases, the food chain will be disrupted.
Imagine a large population of insects disappearing. The animal feeding on those insects will starve. That sets off a chain reaction for predator and prey. It might not be instant, but eventually every living organism will be gone.
In summary, you should decrease electricity usage and change how you generate it. Global warming directly affects nature and the communities we live in.
There are things about nature that we all care about, like camping in the forest every summer or taking a breath of fresh air each morning.
I want you to think about that the next time you leave your lights on at home.