The post-millennial generation is most likely the last one that will be capable of doing something to alleviate the disastrous effects of climate change. But before we can make meaningful change, we need our fellow citizens and elected officials to wake up.
I am inspired by all of the teens who are stepping up to create a livable future for our generation and generations to come. I plan to do my part by involving myself in this movement and shining the light on this serious issue. I am also encouraging people to participate in the Global Walkout for Climate Change on March 15.
Sea levels are rising, yet the world’s population continues to grow most rapidly in low-lying coastal zones – places where food insecurity is greatest. The most populous places in today’s world are not those where light winters will boost crop or vegetation places but where rainfall is expected to become less reliable. This will likely lead to crop failure and starvation.
The countries most vulnerable to global warming’s horrors are among the poorest and least able to pay for medical, social service and technological solutions that must be found to avert or at least mitigate the disasters to come.
Teen taking the lead
My generation is on the front lines for change. One outstanding teenager, Greta Thunberg, gathered fellow teens in the Swiss Alps for the World Economic Forum. She urged them to work toward meaningful climate action in order to “safeguard future living conditions for humankind.”
Thunberg also organized the Global Walkout on March 15. My school, Clayton Valley Charter High School, did not permit particiation in the national school shooting walkout. Therefore, I am uncertain the position CVCHS leadership will take on this important issue. I submitted a request for support to the principal and await an answer as of this writing.
My generation needs to be supported as we take the lead. Boomers, Gen X and even Millenials need to realize that the buck will stop with Gen Z. It is our future and that of our grandchildren in jeopardy with inaction.
Understanding today’s reality
My generation has suffered through too many emotionally scarring school shootings to count. I respectfully submit that America’s elders have no idea what it is like to contemplate death as a very real possibility just from going to school.
Death is also becoming a very real possibility due to drastic changes in weather patterns. The end of civilized life on Earth is a very real possibility by the time Gen Z is the age of the eldest Boomers.
Species after species of animal and plants are becoming extinct at a breathtaking rate. This crushing problem falls onto us. If we are not allowed to participate in a peaceful walkout, it will demonstrate an undeniable lack of care for the future by those in charge today.
I had hoped my email to the principal would lead to an intergenerational partnership in support of a future for Generation Z. Several teachers have responded, which gives me hope, yet leadership remains mute.
All we want is what you who came before have already had: a measure of security, some predictability of climate and the ability to enjoy our beautiful planet.
Olivia Montijo is junior at CVCHS. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org