Often, as humans, we find ourselves struggling in circumstances that we created. I may go as far as asserting that everything, every obstacle, every predicament, every dilemma the human society has ever faced, was caused by our conceptions, conclusions, and concepts. Such is the case with climate change.
I am not the first to address climate change, nor the first to endeavor to bring it under a spotlight, nor the first teen to be passionate about something beyond my insignificant corner of the world. But I can be the one who accomplishes all three. My knowledge, my life extends farther than the boundaries of Bridgewater, or New Jersey, or the Northeast, perhaps surpassing the borders of the United States. I have taken steps on the opposite side of the world, in Europe, in Asia, and all over the U.S, and this has only driven me to a single resolution. We, as a civilization, are failing miserably at what I consider the foremost obligations as an intelligent species: to protect our home.
San Diego, CA, USA. The mighty Pacific ocean crashes onto weathered cliffs, cliffs that have witnessed the oceans rise and fall, that have observed civilization reach its shores, that are now viewing our descent into our graves. I cannot deny the incomprehensible majesty of La Jolla, the Jewel, the beauty of America's Finest City. But on this Jewel lies the great blemish of Humans; her oceans are littered with garbage. Her immense kelp forests, the products of a millennium of upwellings, are decimated from exceedingly warm water and excessively numerous sea urchins. She has been ripped and torn from head to toe, from her summit to her ocean by our defamation, our vilification, and our ignorance.
In the last five years alone, 93% of Southern California's kelp forests have disappeared, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, along with the blossoming ecosystems they forged and created. The tremendous, towering kelp forests that were humanized in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, are disappearing, taking with them immense populations of Sea Otters, Red and White Abalone, Sea Birds, and Stellar's Sea Lions. One might assume that the decline of wildlife is only a nonessential problem. However, economic concerns have already risen. The CDFW has declared that the Abalone fisheries in California have been closed until at least 2021, impacting thousands of fishermen and families in California.
Bridgewater, New Jersey, USA. In my secluded corner of the globe, the happenings of the world at large seem remote and distant. The ripples from principal cities and political powerhouses infrequently reach us. Yet from Paris, France, and Washington D.C, USA, huge waves are crashing over us in cycles of the seasons. Every winter, the waves come and obliterate the winter. That is, they eliminate snow.
Nigh on 4 years ago, a revolutionary agreement was proposed in the City of Light, all the way athwart the broad expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, that would avert the world from the impending doom of Climate Change. Leaders from around the world convened in the city known for its historical significance to address a certainly catastrophic future and how to shift humanity on a path towards sustainability. By the following year, almost all 196 countries had signed the Accord de Paris, or Paris Accords, pledging to peak the global average temperature below 2 degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels.
The Paris Accords gave hope to the millions of people living in the Northeast hope at a true winter with regular snowfalls ending in February. This normal winter escapes many people (including me) who don't remember any normal winter. Winters are irregular, with snowfall concentrated in November and March, and with temperatures ranging from 0 degrees Fahrenheit at the coldest to 70 degrees Fahrenheit at the hottest.
Yet with the election of our president, Donald Trump, we have lost that hope. I do not approve or disapprove of our president, yet his decision is a fateful one. The U.S is the second-highest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind China. However, the U.S produces about half the quantity of greenhouse gases that China does, but China has over 4.5 times the population of the U.S.
I cannot help but feel pessimistic about the outcome of our civilization. Yet there is but a glimmer of hope in a sea of darkness. Hundreds of Organizations around the world, and including 195 other countries continue to stick with the Paris Accords, including China, which is on a fast track to limiting Carbon emissions. Among us teens, Greta Thunberg has stood up against the narrow minds of the politicians around the world who work against the wants and needs of the populace. She is unpopular because she challenges those who would like to stay popular.
All over the U.S protests and rallies force climate change to appear before the high councils of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and before the most powerful person in the world, the President of the United States. From sea to shining sea, from the skyscrapers of our large cities to the vast farmlands and plains, from people of all ages, races, genders, and socio-economic classes comes forth a fist of justice and change, and fist protruding above the closed minds of many of our leaders.
We may be a minority, a minority laboring to change what the majority does not want to be changed, but together, as history often shows, it matters not of numbers, but the effort, dedication, and perseverance we have. We stand together, ready to face down any problem ahead. Our movement, the movement for humanity, can be described by a legendary quote that many people know but few know who gifted to the world with it. Margaret Mead, a famous anthropologist, greatly influenced the study of anthropology and her legacy lasts today. In her wise words, Mead states that"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Indeed, Margaret, indeed.