Our world is in flames and it’s burning through our futures

Illustration by Lauren Johnson

Monica Alarcon-Najarro, Contributing Writer

Between the spreading of wildfires and the disastrous hurricanes passing through the United States, a weight has been sitting on my chest. The copious amounts of natural disaster raging through the world recently has reopened the conversation of global warming.

As I grow older, I worry about my future. The idea that my very future lies in the hands of officials who pass policies regarding global warming terrifies me. 

It seems as though every morning I wake up to a new climate crisis in our hands, yet it’s been happening since the pre-industrial era, according to climate.gov.

The warning signs of our mistreatment of the Earth are very much so present, yet we keep ignoring them. Things like big corporation pollution continue to disturb our ecosystem. But, as much as concern proceeds to exist, these same big corporations can’t seem to grasp the reality that money is not forever. And neither are the resources they’re stealing. 

I’ve come to the realization that part of my generation has become desensitized to the natural disasters happening throughout the world. Including myself.

The thought that our studying and working toward our desired careers could all be a waste seems to be crossing my mind more and more as of late. I mean, nobody can prove that climate change won’t reach its full potential and crumble our lives before we know it.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, 2020 was the second-warmest year in the world; land areas were the hottest on record. 

The NOAA’s annual climate report for 2020 stated that land and ocean temperatures combined increased 0.13 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since 1880; since 1981, this rate has more than doubled.

Yet, the rates of temperature increase can double whether we decide to act on it now or not.

With the average temperatures rising, I’m terrified that my own future is in jeopardy. I can’t even imagine myself living past 50 if the rate of global warming continues like this. The current state that our world is in has completely changed my viewpoint on having children in my lifetime as I don’t want to bring a life in a world that’s dying.

On April 22, President Joe Biden announced during the Leaders Summit on Climate that the U.S. will try to, “achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution in 2030 …”

The rejoining of the Paris Agreement — that former President Donald Trump once withdrew the U.S. from during his presidency — eased my mind a bit regarding our climate crisis. Though, my hopes are low as there’s been too much damage done to the Earth’s environment.

According to the White House fact sheet, the U.S. is aiming to reach 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035, cut emissions and energy costs through efficiency upgrades and electrification in buildings and reduce carbon pollution in the transportation and agriculture sectors.

These goals should’ve been set years ago when we first started to understand the effects of global warming on the environment.

All I can do now is hope that my future and those of newer generations is prioritized over whether big corporations can limit their usage of fossil fuels.

Even though I may lose hope in my future, we can be the change the world needs. It’s seen through the protests of climate change and nonprofit organizations pushing toward policies getting passed through the government legislature. Later than expected, our voices are being heard but we can’t stop until we see the changes that are being promised be accomplished.

One day we’ll tell stories to our children and future generations of the strength that the power of the masses holds. If we want to see things get done, we have to educate those around us of the damages that global warming can cause. Or else, we’ll never get to meet that future generation.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply