(405) 714-7612

Aaliyah Sheikh

Newark Charter

Youth Climate Action


How Much Time Do We Have Left?

As a young child, I wished I lived in a world where Bambi existed. Such a beautiful and cute fawn could never exist in real life… or so I thought. As I grew older, my eyes were opened to the beautiful and thriving world we live in. Animals are everywhere you look and plants find a will and a way to grow in even the most difficult climates and microscopic organisms find a way to live a sustainable life. Eventually, I realized that the environment is a vast category that holds beauty that even man has yet to discover. But, humans will never truly be able to discover all kinds of hidden beauty holds, especially if they continue to destroy and pollute. Due to the carelessness of man, climate change has begun to threaten the planet. The very planet that allows us to thrive and enjoy the experience of living. In a matter of a few decades, Florida will be swept off its feet by severe coastal floodings while wildfires will have consumed the arid lands of California. By taking nature for granted, we are only encouraging the destruction of Earth. Not only will climate change impact humans, but it will impact the lives of animals, plants, and small organisms. By living selfish and greedy lifestyles, humans have already allowed for more than thirty-seven billion metric tons of carbon emissions, leading to warmer and more polluted climates. By producing excessive amounts of carbon emissions, it has caused ice glaciers containing freshwater to melt. Only three percent of freshwater remains on Earth. What more must Mother Nature take away from us in order for humans to open their eyes and realize the enchanting world they live in? A domino effect has been playing out while we have been producing more carbon emissions and harvesting healthy lands for the sake of population growth. In order to truly save the Earth from its destruction, humans must learn to incorporate sustainability into their lifestyles by encouraging the use of reusable resources, creating manufacturing and industrial production limits, and implementing more education regarding the effects of climate change. 

The first proposed solution to be implemented into society would be encouraging individuals to use reusable resources. One reusable resource would be utilizing reusable water bottles. Each year, nearly one-hundred-million sea creatures die from plastic pollution. By encouraging the use of reusable water bottles, we would not only reduce the mortality rate of sea creatures but the amount of carbon emissions that go into producing plastic water bottles. Another reusable resource would be encouraging the act of recycling clothing. By placing these clothes in recycled clothing bins, these worn-out clothes could be refashioned or used as insulation for homes. By doing so, not only would the clothes be utilized for another purpose but it would also help the individual save money on heating. Reducing the use of heating would also lead to a lower carbon emission rate as heating and air conditioning is responsible for more than 400 million metric tons of carbon dioxide on a yearly basis. A third reusable resource would be romanticizing electric vehicles. By doing so, more individuals might feel inclined to purchase electric vehicles instead of using gas-powered ones. Electric vehicles would have a better performance rate and eradicate the emittance of pollutants from vehicles. By encouraging individuals to incorporate these habits, they would be able to live sustainably as well as help lower carbon emissions, which is the leading cause of global warming. 

The second proposed solution would be to create manufacturing and industrial production limits.

When combining the statistics of manufacturing and industrial production rates, it amounts to more than one-third of the global carbon emission production. To lower this rate, the government could propose a policy that would regulate and limit manufacturing and industrial production. This policy would provide that each company can only produce a certain limit of goods, as well as incorporate biodegradable material into their product. By doing so, this would reduce the carbon footprint drastically. Although this policy could receive immense backlash from manufacturing and industrial production companies, it would force them to incorporate a more biodegradable aspect to their goods and products, and naturally, creating a limit on the number of goods and products they manufacture would help reduce the carbon footprint. 

The third and final proposed solution would be to provide more education regarding the effects of climate change. Many individuals simply dismiss climate change as a way for the government to scam people for taxes. This is a result of the lack of education being provided about this phenomenon. In order to eradicate this issue and create a larger scale of awareness, the government would require elementary schools to educate students about climate change and its detrimental effects on the globe. Teaching young children about the harsh realities of climate change would allow them to grow up with the knowledge of climate change and therefore make better decisions in life. A government-funded event would be held for all elementary schools on Earth Day to learn about sustainable technologies and lifestyles, and how students can make an impact in hindering climate change. By reaching out to these young individuals, it would motivate them to advocate for a change at a young age. Young children would learn about the fascinating beauty around them and eventually feel the same feeling I feel about protecting the environment. By simply pushing young children in the direction of protecting and preserving the environment, it would help build a foundation of individuals who would be just as willing as individuals such as myself to stand up and advocate for a change. 

Personally, the outdoors is a place where I can escape the harsh reality of life and find a moment to breathe. Listening to the birds chirping while watching the bunnies munch around and the squirrels scamper up trees, it amazes me how life can thrive in such a beautiful way. 

Simply in my backyard, I can experience several different plants and animals thriving, glowing in their ecosystem. If humans were to continue to abuse this privilege, it won’t be long before the beauty we see today will disappear. By incorporating these three solutions into society, we will be able to create an impact to help sustain nature and the abundant resources it provides. These new policies and limitations will create many rifts in the economic businesses across the globe but what is the use of expanding the economy if humans won’t be there to experience it? What is the point of working so hard if you are not going to be able to reap the rewards you have been sowing your entire life? Climate change is an important issue that must be addressed. As a person who truly has a passion for protecting the environment, if these policies were to be implemented, it would help save the environment. We’ve already invaded the homes of the diverse life on Earth and created our homes and shopping centers. But to take that for granted and continue to take more land and pollute the environment? It would be a completely different level of selfishness and disrespect. Once climate change takes a permanent hold on the Earth, it will be too late to advocate for a change. The time to act is now, before the Earth runs out of time. Although it may be a new and risky path, as American essayist, novelist, and poet Barbara Kingsolver once said, “the changes we dread most may contain our salvation.”