Dear President Trump
The human race, through all of its success, growth, and breakthroughs, continues to be destructive and selfish. This past year, in AP Environmental Science, I was taught the full capacity at which the human race has managed to hurt every other species and life form. When I was shown horrific images, such as sharks being hunted for their fins, and children of third world countries starving to death because the increasing drought had diminished their water supply, I felt like crying at my desk. You see, everything is interconnected. Every little action or input has at least one output. As coal and oil use increases, greenhouse gas emissions increase, causing ocean acidification and decreased fish populations. If fish populations decrease, countries that rely of fish for food such as Japan, will lack a major food and income source causing hunger and poverty. The point is it’s all one connected cycle that hurts not just the planet, but all of its inhabitants, in one aspect or another.
A common belief among climate change deniers, is that converting our society to cleaner energy and renewable resources will cause a lack of jobs and limit the economy. Our main source of energy for the past hundred years has been coal and oil, and while you’re not wrong that those generate huge amounts of energy, they come with a cost. “There’s actually a small amount of coal jobs in the United States because we just use automated machines, but clean energy jobs, those are on the rise,” said University of California Berkeley environmental science major and environmental activist, Derek Fang. “They [clean energy jobs] not only host environmental prospect, but it’s also good for the economy.” Also, in a recent study done by the Sierra Club, clean energy jobs outnumber fossil jobs five to one and are expected to grow further. Investing our nation’s time into clean energy will increase jobs and the economy as clean energy becomes more and more cheap and easily accessible. Funding renewable energy will not only stimulate economic growth for our nation, but all successful business investors, like yourself.
Though the present is robust with economic opportunity, the cost in the future if action isn’t taken now, will be astounding. The more we deplete our resources, the more their value rises, and thus causes issues such as poverty, hunger, homelessness, and more. I know the thought of water being outrageously expensive to people of the first world, like you and I, is crazy, but it’s highly likely. The root of this looming possibility is that the human race is using its resources at a rate so rapid, they cannot be naturally replenished. We are already seeing societies in less developed countries, such as Yemen, engage in water wars. According to an article by scidev.net, 2,500 have already died in the civil war thus far. Similar situations are likely to arise in other nations as well, and not just poorer countries. The big guys: the U.S., China, Europe, and more will feel it too. It’s just a matter of time. And it’s not just a lack of resources that will cause extreme expenses in the future, it’s the effects of all the aspects of climate change. “Prevention is always better than clean up,” said Jennifer Boyd, an environmental science teacher. “It will be more expensive to adapt to the unknown future than to try to mitigate GHGs now.” The reality is there’s no way avoiding the costs of climate change. It’s inevitable. We have to focus on the elements we can control like when we take action and with what force we choose to do so.
Besides both the monetary costs and possibilities, human health is also at risk due to climate change. These health threats apply to the poor, the middle class, and even those of the highest status, much like yourself. I had the recent pleasure of talking to Andrew Riiska, a Los Angeles resident, who explained regardless of one’s opinion on climate change, “You should at least believe in clean air and clean water.” In addition to this, according to globalchange.gov, temperature extremes resulting in vast heat waves are projected to increase and intense, causing more cases of heat stroke and other heat-related deaths. They also mention due to increased precipitation, water-borne diseases or mold intrusion in buildings are likely to increase. The website also states that vector transmitted diseases are likely to increase due to vector/pathogen rapid adaptation, and North America — which contains both yours and my home, the U.S. — is at particular risk.
As much as it’d be nice to have a sudden change of heart among all the people of the world regarding the Earth’s well-being, it’s never going to happen. You and I are no different in that we both selfishly want what’s best for ourselves. In reality, you, me, and people alike don’t care as much as we should about the planet. We care about ourselves. But, that in turn relates back to the planet. We must be willing to change our ways to protect our future, our health, our families, and the things we care about most. That’s where there is no separation of status. That’s where you, me, and everyone else is the same. That’s where it matters most.
Best of luck,