Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times

Students in Dresden, Germany taking a stand to raise awareness about climate change.

      At a recent conference at the Climate Summit in New York, Greta Thunberg, 16, activist, looked angrily into the audience and cried out, “How dare you!”

      Those three words were piercing, captivating, and threw the Internet in chaos. From the way she preached it, to the way her genuine emotion spoke to the world, many people felt the need to get involved. Her detractors claimed she was a puppet, an actress, and instead of telling everyone what she wants, Thunberg should provide a solution. However, one thing everyone agrees on is that we need to do more for our beloved Earth. We are not doing enough. Instead, we are shamelessly ignoring the cause.

      Scientists, including Niel deGrasse Tyson, have confirmed the devastating effects of climate change. In his graduation speech in 2014, President Obama quoted scientist Thomas Freeman: “Your kid is sick, you consult 100 doctors. Ninety-seven of them tell you to do this, three tell you to do that, and you want to go with the three?”

      Director of Potsdam Climate Institute Hans Joachim Shellnhuber declared, “The Climate math is brutally clear: While the world can’t be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence by 2020.”

      If we can’t slow climate change down, our Earth will never be the same. Glaciers will shrink, trees will start flowering sooner, sea levels will rise,wildfires will become more frequent, and the storms will be more common.

      According to NASA and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “…Increases in global mean temperature in less than 1.8 to 5.4 degrees fahrenheit above 1990 levels will produce beneficial impacts in some regions and harmful one in others.”

      Those places that could be harmed can become uninhabitable. If parts of the world become uninhabitable, we can infer that people will migrate to other nations where climate change affected it beneficially, which can create sparking wars.

      As stated by The New York Times, “ Trump announced the repeal of major Obama-era clean water regulation that had placed limits on polluting chemicals that could be used near streams, wetlands, and other bodies of water.”

      Trump’s rollback on the Clean Water Act is cooperating with climate change to corrupt Earth.

      To support that claim, Michan Kwon,9, cried, “Trump needs to stop focusing on kicking out immigrants because they aren’t what’s negatively affecting the world right now; climate change is.”

      This is a problem, and it must be resolved. We are capable of many things. Mankind has stepped foot on the moon, new inventions are being created and discovered everyday. Saving our planet is one more thing to do.

      Currently, it is evident that saving our planet is not our main focus. We only want fame, money, and attention. Who cares if the earth is corrupt if I can’t have the new iphone 11, right? We not only ignore the fact that we need to save our planet, but we choose to go about it wrong too. Additionally, our mindset, surroundings, and ignorance is creating difficulty acknowledging the problem.

      Some people argue that one individual can not make a difference in changing our world, but that statement is simply untrue. It makes a bigger difference than one might think. We all need to pitch in. There is no way we will get anywhere with people depending on others. Similar to a group project, one person can’t depend on the other to do all the work, because it simply isn’t fair.

      Society loves to obsess about followers and social status, and tends to forget about what is happening outside of their phone. It makes it hard to care unless someone who outranks you says it is cool, because as much as we do not like to admit it, we are all followers. For example, Starbucks has cut plastic straws for good with a new adult sippy cup. Starbucks heard all the news and maybe even Greta’s iconic speech and decided it was time to eliminate straws too.

Photo courtesy of LA Times
Greta Thunberg at her recent conference at the Climate Summit in New York.

      With all of the publicity on Greta’s “ How dare you” remark, it is likely that people are wondering what they can do to help our planet. Our Earth has provided us with the things that make us happy and we still mistreat it.

      How dare we treat our Earth this way? How dare we keep ignoring it? How dare we keep taking our actions as individuals for granted? How dare we keep putting unnecessary things over our Earth?

      It does not matter what we do, whether it is picking up litter from the streets or recycling a piece of plastic. Every little effort we put into saving our Earth counts. Like Greta we should all be alarmed and outraged. When we fail to act on climate change, we are guilty of her angry accusation: “How dare you, you have stolen my dreams, and my childhood with your empty words.”Mark Daugherty, Science Teacher at Stone Middle School, said, “…Slowing climate change might just be enough. That will buy us time to focus on what we should really be doing-figuring out how to survive in a changing world.”