I am 16 years old, play the violin, am on a rock climbing team, compete at science olympiad, and am in a couple school clubs. I am part of the Jewish congregation in town, am involved in my youth group, and go to a Jewish outdoor adventure summer camp.
I am part of ICEY because climate change scares me, and I believe that we can curb it if we all come together.
I love to hike and be outdoors. It’s a big part of my life and contributes to what makes me who I am. One of the first things I learned about being outdoors is the “leave no trace” rule, which is that you always leave the area you are in exactly the same or nicer than you found it. Why doesn’t this principle apply in the big picture? Why aren’t we trying to leave the world in a better condition than we found it in?
What we do here in the U.S. affects people all over the world. We use so much energy and emit so much carbon dioxide and pollution. The ice caps are melting and the sea level rose 7 inches in the last 100 years. While this might have absolutely no effect on us in Indiana, it affects numerous coastal cities. One example is the Maldives, a country made up of 1,200 islands that are no more than 8 feet above sea level. In 2012, Mohamed Nasheed, who was the president, said “If carbon emissions continue at the rate they are climbing today, my country will be underwater in seven years.” This is not okay. Why should we in the developed world, with our air conditioned houses, multiple cars, 100-inch tv’s, why should we have power to contribute to the disasters and lives of people on the other side of the world?This really upsets me; we are not any better than them, we’re all just people.
In order to curb climate change, we need everybody to get on board, now. I know that everybody is repeatedly told to recycle, carpool, turn off the lights, use cloth shopping bags, unplug the computer, and trust me I’m tired of hearing it too. But all the little things we do pile up and collectively have a big effect. Every single piece of paper and plastic bottle that can be recycled or reused matters.
I want to challenge myself, and anybody willing, to take bigger steps. Do things that take us out of our comfort zones: put on layers in the winter so we can turn down the heat, take a Greyhound bus rather than an airplane, line-dry our clothes, switch to renewable energy, talk to our congresspeople.
We have to come together as a community and do this. We need action now.
I’m excited to blog on this site, and I hope that we can inspire others to take action.