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Secrete Child of Apollo, Aquarius, 17

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Joined 10/5/2020

An Ode to the Squirrel, and the Issue of Climate Change

October 19, 2020

I don't like squirrels.
They look like gerbils who hop like bunny rabbits. They are everywhere yet seemingly untamable. They flinch more than me in a thunder storm and believe you me I leap at the crack of thunder.
I suppose, these are measly points, just to cover up my true reason surrounding my hate for squirrels. The fact of the matter is I am humbled by these small skittish rodents. 
They have more faith in this earth than I do.

I love nature and I see our world is starting to crumble right under our feet. The fires in California were not caused by a stupid mistake- only the product of unwise creation. The twisters in the Midwest were not special effects for a Wizard of Oz remake.  This was a result of climate change; something that humans are largely to blame for. It’s not normal to have 1,350 tornadoes in twelve months, It’s not normal to have 8,200 fires in one year.
I live on the East coast where we have hurricanes. This year there are ​25 named storms and six major hurricanes, more than double the historical averages. We stand in the stagnant water in our basements and pump the wrath of flood waters from our homes as if a dry carpet will somehow show us, we’ll get our decollated houses back next week. As if sorting through the floating plastic storage bins will make up for our everything we’ve lost. The names of these storms have stuck in our heads because those experiences hold so much meaning. Maria, Sandy, Harvey and countless others.
It’s not normal to have 6 massive hurricanes in on year. 
The more I dove into climate change, the more discouraged I became. If I could ever speak to mother nature, the atmosphere, or however you communicate to our biosphere I'd have one thing to say it: It’s not you, it’s me. 
It’s not you it is me. Aside for the fact that it sounds like your standard break up- its true. We made a mistake, countless mistakes, because we, as a human species, as proud as we are, do not know everything. In fact, we're sometimes really stupid. And that’s ok because we are only human and there are things that we don't understand, but this said it is time we start trying. 
This is our fault.
Fires, floods, smog, pollution, freezing temperatures and melting icebergs. That’s on us.
We unknowingly started a timer as soon as the industrial revolution started. We started releasing massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as part of our creations. Moving cars and electricity and trains. We could go places we've never been before. We could see things we've never seen before. We could live in luxury with heat and fishing and oil and gas powering everything. We felt empowered. 
And then that timer went off.
It started to ring that emission levels were too high and ocean levels were too high and CO2 was too high but we, were too high to notice. 
High off of our own genius that we didn't see the harm it did to every living organism. We were flying with the knowledge that we created a better life.
Better? Sure. Sustainable? Not at all. 
We like to live comfortably. If we acknowledged how uncomfortable everything around us was, we in turn will become uncomfortable- which we’re not used to. 
Because then we'd have to face this simple fact that the way the world is, is because we build it this way. Unsustainable, unpredictable, and uncomfortable. 
It’s not you, it’s me. 
But what can we do about it? 
And this brings me full circle as to why I hate squirrels.
They have more faith in this world than I do.
Everyday these rodents skitter around and find acorns that fell from scares trees. They take those flimsy seeds and plant them in the dearth of dirt. They take their little paws each day and sniff out the best dry patch of sidewalk undergrowth and pat the tiny oak seed into the ground and cover it up. 
They always forget where they buried them.
These tiny seeds with brown berets are given a small chance at life. And I never believed they actually blossomed until I saw a sapling about a foot high, bright green and floppy, on the sidewalk outside my house. And I thought of the squirrel who put it there. How his minuscule paws became the creator of an oak true, twenty feet high that it could later run and climb on. 
I hate squirrels because they didn't give up, like I once did. They used their tiny paws to create a sustainable living environment, an entire apartment if you think about it. Without complaint, without fail. They still believed in the power of nature. 
Through renewable energies, agriculture, technology, donations, management, we can do it too. 
Dear humans, it is time we face the truly uncomfortable and pressing issue at hand. It is time we take responsibility for our ignorant actions because there is still time to reverse the damage, we didn’t know we were making. With a hand, tool, voice, I don't care, but to sit on your haunches and pretend to be comfortable is like eating food that expired three years ago. Its old and sickening and dangerous.
Its time we do our part. Because it’s not the fault of nature for reacting this way. Climate change is the result of what we made happen.
To think my not giving up on this prominent issue of climate change came from a squirrel is strange, but the seed of passion and sheer will power to change our way of living has taken root inside of me. And if you are at all uncomfortable or touched in hearing any part of this speech, I know, it has taken root inside of you as well. It’s time we right a global wrong. One acorn at a time.

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  • Anlee

    wow what a unique take on squirrels! loved how you tied in a specific animal to compare human destruction to. great, great ending sentence <33

    3 months ago
  • mirkat

    amazing piece! love the whole squirrel thing as both a metaphor and to tie this all together! it is so effective and such a great beginning. keep writing-- love your work!

    3 months ago