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Zoe Hennessy

Cape Henlopen HS, 9th grade

I looked around at the white world, watching as the snow fell. Bundled up in my coat and winter pants, I jumped into the pile of snow in front of me, catching snowflakes in my mouth as I made a snow angel. I invited my friend over, and we ran around until we could not feel our fingers or toes. To my right, was an empty field filled with corn but inhabited by mice, snakes, frogs, groundhogs, deer, and foxes. A couple of weeks later, still cold as ever, I watched the polar bear plunge on WBOC. Now, I stand on the porch in the middle of winter, sucking in the 70-degree weather. Suddenly, the polar bear plunge, a tradition for 30 years, does not seem so scary anymore. The empty field to my right has roads and piles of dirt, awaiting the new neighborhood that will soon be built. Just what Delaware needs, less farmland and more people. The truth is right in front of the younger generations’ faces. The world our kids will be brought into will be nothing like the world we were raised in. As temperatures rise, plants disappear, habitats become ruined, and pollution increases the need to answer the question of, “How can we become aware of what older generations could not, and prevent climate change from getting worse”? 

Delaware’s youth can come together using one of the most efficient ways of communication, technology. Sites like Facebook and Change allow you to find others in your community that support similar movements. Using those groups, teens can take action together. An uprising in recycling is an easy and simple way to give back to the earth by keeping it cleaner. Larger projects like preventing deforestation, becoming cleaner when it comes to greenhouse gasses, and preserving more energy are still possible even if they seem out of our control. Protests are a great way to get people’s attention for these types of problems that may seem like too big of a challenge. Publicizing your concerns around your school with posters, and announcements, and being in clubs that can fund your intentions, can help spread the word to students and other influential people in your school like teachers, who may publicize it even more. 

The world’s temperatures are rising, trees are disappearing, pollution is contaminating water, habitats, and ecosystems are destroyed, and animals are going extinct. Everyone is watching it happen, some without even realizing it. But not everyone is taking unnecessary small trips on their private jets, using an unnecessary amount of electricity, littering, cutting down trees, and overall trashing the earth. Either way, a group of people who have the same respect for the earth as they do themselves are hurting everything and everyone around them, including themselves. Just last year, Canada experienced such drastic temperature changes from climate change that a massive wildfire was able to occur. The air pollution and smoke made its way down the East Coast into Delaware. Everyone was affected, even having to stop sports due to the lack of air quality. The health risks homeless people experienced from being outside all day were inexcusable. Younger generations can help protest against the excess production of greenhouse gasses and stop funding major companies that largely contribute to emissions each year. 

As I take a drive throughout town, I take in the fields filled with crops, the trees swaying with the breeze, and the animals in their natural habitat. I drive towards the beach, the oceans that have been here long before me will be here long after I’m gone. The earth has everything we need. Yet, it is not treated as our lifeline. We take it for granted by polluting the natural environment. By keeping the earth clean and healthy, younger generations can feel the same connection between themselves and the earth and not see it as a garbage can when they feel too lazy to throw something away properly. 


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