(302) 703-7086

Anwesha Kumari

MOT Charter High School, 9th grade

A Brighter Future: Navigating Youth Action on Climate Change 

As my steps press upon the sidewalks illuminated by the gentle glow of street lights, I look up to gaze at the wondrous tapestry of tiny dots and celestial points, the atmosphere aglow beneath the ethereal night sky. The cool air is refreshing as I breathe in, the soft caress of grass as I at times stray off path. The glittering, shimmering sky is magnificent as I glance up, counting each individual source of light. I remember my father calling me to walk faster in order to catch up, that the stars will seemingly move with me as I walk. The gentle sway of trees and dancing vegetation add to the vision, almost vivid yet hazy within my mind, struggling to grasp the rest of my imagination. Imagination? I search deeper, exerting effort to remember this distant thought, a memory from seemingly a long time ago. I would stare for long moments up at the sky, entranced by the countless stars. It was one of my favorite everyday moments as a child. The long summer walks during the night with my dad were one of my favorite key moments, which seem distant now. Presently, as I walk beneath the night sky of 2024, the sky now seems like a dark heavy blanket placed upon the beautiful tapestry, even in the small, rural neighborhood I live in. The contrast is sadly quite stark, as the stars seem as if they’ve suddenly vanished. Unfortunately, I am not the only one who has or will ever experience something similar. Infact, the joy of gazing into the starry sky is a simple memory only a few of the younger generation can remember if experienced at all, with a staggering 80% of children in the U.S. never seeing real stars within their lifetime. This sobering reality is one of the many human consequences of climate change, which consists of significant issues that need to be addressed. 

Climate change is an existential threat within social, ecological, and economic systems that needs to be addressed. Climate change refers to the shifts and changes in the weather and temperature on Earth which can inevitably affect systems for the worse. Humans are the main cause for this threat, driving the climate to worsen over long periods of time due to different activities such as burning fossil fuels. The warming of Earth’s surface is a deadly issue, as it may seem harmless, but will wipe out species if not acted upon. In fact, the Earth has been losing around 1.2 trillion tons of ice each year. All of the Earth’s systems, including the main atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere are connected, therefore, each influencing the other. Many issues that result from changes in temperature and climate are immense flooding, increase in intensity and frequency of natural disasters, soil biodiversity loss, unpredictable weather patterns, sea level rising, species nearing or reaching extinction, extreme heat waves, droughts, and many more. An estimate conducted in 2017 states that human activities and emissions cause around 100% of global warming. When one issue is inflicted by mankind, the result can easily affect other systems creating ripple effects that can completely eliminate human populations itself. It is imperative that we confront the reality of climate change and take decisive action to mitigate its impacts before it’s too late. 

As a young person who has been living in Delaware all her life, I envision a proactive approach to address climate change by framing the challenge, fostering collaborative action, innovating creative solutions, and advocating for our future. We should take immediate action towards climate change as it is only getting worse and the threat is only increasing. Today’s youth possess the ability to frame the challenge of climate change to deeply resonate within our community by highlighting the connections of social justice, environmental sustainability, and economic prosperity to emphasize the urgency of taking action to mitigate climate change and its impacts. Simply educating others can go a long way in making a difference. Through different means of communication such as social media and education, we can cultivate awareness and understanding for others to join the fight against climate change. 

Furthermore, youth have a special capacity to foster collaborative action by building a union for change by organizing events, strikes, advocacy campaigns, and other actions to amplify our collective voices and demand action against climate change. By making partnerships with local businesses, schools, and agencies, we can use resources and expertise to implement sustainable solutions at the grassroots level to initiate change in our communities. Youth action consists of innovation, as young people are naturally inclined towards problem-solving and creativity. By harnessing our technologies and scientific inquiry, we can develop innovative solutions to address this issue, as well as build a sustainable future. Whether it’s actions such as implementing waste reduction initiatives, creating renewable energy systems, or promoting agriculture practices, youth-led innovation has power that can initiate change on a global scale. 

Correspondingly, youths also have the ability to advocate, amplifying voices and initiating change at every level. By engaging with officials, participating in our communities often, and posting and writing to editors or other media outlets, we can advocate for policies that prioritize action towards climate and environmental justice. Raising awareness is alone an important factor in reducing the effects of climate change. In fact, only around 55% of people around the world keep up with news and information about climate change, let alone take action. Strategies to engage in advocacy efforts at local, state, and national levels. This is where our youth steps in to take action by framing the challenge, fostering collaborative action, innovating creative solutions, and advocating for my and today’s youths’ futures in Delaware. 

Moreover, the use of presenting, innovating, and advocating can specifically play a vital role in addressing climate change in my own school among my teachers and students. I and others can organize or participate in workshops, awareness campaigns, and events that highlight the urgency of climate change and empower teachers and students to take action. Simply communicating about this issue within a school environment can cause drastic awareness in a community, raising the chances of action being made. Additionally, youth can also be involved in arrangements with school administrators and policy makers to speak about the changes in our climate. The knowledge about this issue being spread in school is a great way to raise awareness and make a change. 

Ultimately, it takes a push and passion to truly want to make a difference, and motivation is key. I want to be able to go outside for a nighttime stroll and be able to see the stars once more. Reconnecting with the world and discovering its beauty lies within each memory we make with nature, our dependance on nature not a weakness, but a strength we should cherish. Recognizing the true essence of Earth is the most important step, as that is what will lead us to take action. We should protect our world and home we live in, and go through all lengths to save it. Resonating personally with a memory of the past, whether it’s a childhood memory of exploring a forest, swimming every summer in a clear lake, or stargazing under a clear sky, these experiences serve as vital recollections that remind us of the fragility of nature. We must treasure these memories and build more to experience growing up with nature to the fullest, so that generations after can as well. Today’s youth must cultivate a sense of responsibility towards the environment and collectively address the challenges of climate change. 

As we stand on the brink of climate crisis, the choice is for us to make. Will we continue down this path of destruction or rise to make a change by finally addressing this challenge? With the abilities to frame the challenge, foster collaborative action, innovate creative solutions, and advocate with courage and determination as the youth of Delaware, we can be the change we wish to see. Once more, I can walk under a sky visible of stars, while you can visit a flower garden again, one that hasn’t been damaged due to extreme weather conditions, or swim in a lake that isn’t flooded, or whatever connects you to nature. Don’t sever the strings that tethers you to the beauty of this environment. Together, let us take action to protect our planet and secure a brighter future for us all. 


  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *