Aili Scott: What we do now will make all the difference with climate change
I am writing in honor of one of the most important days of the year: Earth Day. Earth Day is a celebration to thank our earth for everything that it does for us. Earth Day reminds me of our past mistakes and inspires me to make changes.
I’m only 11 years old, but I know that climate change may be a part of my life for as long as I live, but what we do now will make all the difference.
When I started to learn about climate change, I was shocked. It was amazing to me that a crisis so large isn’t demanding all of our attention. And even now, when we are faced with the challenge of a global pandemic, our Earth is begging for us to make changes. When I first watched a video of Greta Thunberg, a teenage activist from Sweden, I realized that each of us, whether young or old can influence change.
Since being inspired by Greta, I have lobbied Congress to pass a bipartisan bill called the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, a market-based solution designed to lower our carbon emissions by pricing carbon, but without growing our government. Last fall, I coordinated my middle school’s participation in the Youth Climate Strike with my sister. Now, I’ve found myself stuck at home, socially isolated and feeling inadequate.
Then it struck me that now is actually the time for us to change. When our world is seemingly turned upside-down, we can find a way to change our lifestyles and come out of this pandemic more efficient than ever before. We may only be citizens in a small town. Some of us are just kids. But our actions and voices will determine the future of generations to come.
Make those small changes. It may be going meatless two days a week instead of one. It may be considering whether you really need those new clothes, or if you can ride your bike instead of drive. It may be going on social media and sharing your message. It definitely means vote for our climate, and if you can’t vote (like me), then talk to people who can. And get involved with local groups, like the North T sahoe chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby https://citizensclimatelobby.org/chapters/CA_North_Tahoe/. All of these changes will amount to something bigger, something stronger.
I believe that together, we can turn the tide. Our actions can shape a new world, a world in which an eleven-year-old girl does not have to fight to have a clean future. We are just a few out of billions on Earth, but our actions can speak louder than our size.
Aili Scott, a sixth-grade student, lives in Truckee.
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