As a young millennial, I am here to tell you how your health is at risk if you don’t step up to do something about this problem that is sweeping the world. 5 million people per year are dying because of this issue, it’s growing bigger by the day and it seems as though our solutions may not be enough to stop it if we don’t act now! We have started a war with ourselves that is crippling the human race faster than ever before. Something needs to change, and it’s not the climate
Let me explain to you the basis of climate change, basically, gas emissions that us humans, yes you and me, emit into the air are trapped inside the atmosphere and create a blanket covering the earth, this blanket absorbs and traps heat from the sun that would otherwise be reflected away from the earth, this is commonly known as the greenhouse effect. because of this, ice caps that are bigger than mount iron are breaking up and melting, Sea levels are rising, glaciers like our own Rob Roy glacier, are disappearing, precipitation patterns are changing. Extreme weather events are becoming more intense and frequent all due to climate change. but, these are just the obvious things, I cannot even begin with the list of effects that climate change has on our world, your lives are being shaped by climate change more than you will ever know. To give you some perspective on this, think of chocolate, a well-known food usually known as confectionery that you probably enjoy. recently it has been announced that we may witness the extinction of chocolate in our life time all because of climate change, the worldwide increase in temperature has caused a rare disease to spread rapidly through cocoa fields wiping out thousand of plants that are used to make our chocolate, the scary thing is we are seeing this happen to all sorts of plants all over the world! scientists are discovering diseases that we have never seen before in humans and animals. I’m sure you have heard about the zika virus, it has spread throughout South America and the west coast of North America and as well as Africa and other hot places. this virus alone puts more than two billion people at risk. People are dying from the heat! and I can’t help but think it could be me in that position, in fact, it could be anyone of you, just because we live in a place like Wanaka where we are high enough above sea level and not in storm paths so we don’t see large direct effects of climate change but I can assure you if you asked the 17.5 million people who are displaced every year because of floods and storms you will realise how damaging it can be to your life.
I remember when I was younger I asked my mum if we could ever run out of air, she laugh and said no never, but in my research I found an article that Marine plants such as phytoplankton are estimated to produce more than half the Earth’s atmospheric oxygen and if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the same rate, the tiny marine plants would halt oxygen production, meaning we could potentially run out of air. As you may imagine this would cause a crisis for our world and quite possibly extinction to mankind.
Children in, China, India, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are afraid to breathe the air because they don’t know what chemicals are in it, AFRAID to breathe!!! Breathing is a necessity to mankind and in fact, all living things, being denied the right to breathe freely is being denied the right to live. Some days in these places the sun cannot be seen, and not because it’s a cloudy day but because the air is loaded with pollution, lung cancer rates are through the roof and that’s just the beginning, the health of OUR people is are being diminished. Desserts lie where rainforests once stood, our rainforests are being cut or burnt down at a rate of 40 football fields every minute, this means that by the time I have finished my speech….. we have denied 5 million species of plants insects and animals the right to live, we cut down their homes and smoke them out, we are driving millions of species towards extinction including our selves, all for what? , money….
We have been brain washed into thinking that money and objects make us happy we buy and throw away buy and throw away. You are greedy, you have more than you need and yet you want more. Every single thing you buy has to be made, factories pump out pollution for the money we give them to make these things that we don’t need, where do you think these things go? I’ll tell you where, they are burned, buried in our soils and floating in our oceans. You are, whether you like it or not, a contributor to climate change.
Yes, these problems we are left with is the past generations fault but it’s as much their fault as it is mine and yours, you have a choice, and that choice is to make a difference. Many of you will believe that you care, but do you care enough to do something about it, to walk to school, to plant a tree, to bring reusable bags to new world!!! these small actions have big results, so please make your actions reflect your words and do good for our future, for our children’s and grandchildren’s future, it’s not just our planet that is at stake but life as we know it! Our health will be seriously impacted, something must be done and it’s up to our generation to do it. People are making a difference and you can too!
I want to leave you with the words of a wise man who once said that “once the rivers are all dried up and the trees are all cut down- only then will man realise- that he cannot eat- money.”