Callie K. Michigan

A Global Poisoning

Our environment has suffered with increased industrialization. As we deny changes we hurt both our well being and the health of our future.

Dear President,

Passions are something we all share, and many times they are acceptance; of other people, customs, emotions, and decisions, change in our environment. It seems impossible to find a unique topic to discuss. While I certainly believe in equality, help for impoverished communities, human rights and so many more topics, I know that there will be many people writing, and challenging you to act upon their own passions, in fact, even the area I end up choosing will have many exemplary citizens motivated to talk to you, shout at you, beg you to take a stance and change what is happening now. This knowledge gives me some relief-- so many different thoughts of our country and world will be brought to you.

When I think of issues I am most wary about for the next president, I tend to think globally. Our relations with the world, both diplomatically and environmentally are what turns my head as I think of your position. School has largely influenced me to covet these two concerns. How could I choose between two such important topics? Luckily, these two seem to complement each other quite well. The environment is a global phenomena that will continue to affect everyone. Thus, proper environment care is essential for the well being of our society.

As I sit and stare out my window at the surrounding trees and their flaming colors, I can’t help to imagine our country as only those who had been here first could have seen it. The forest in my own yard has long since been removed, resisting roots pulled from the hard dirt, accompanied with large cracks as they fall, defeated. Just ten years ago, the area around the house had extensive amounts of wooded areas that it was almost impossible to find grass to mow. Now the yard is unmistakably marked by human activity; we complain about how we are now forced to mow so frequently. If my own yard can be reduced to such a sight over such a small amount of time, just think of areas where businesses rely on resources for profit. If even I can see less of some animals in just ten years, what do you suppose has happened to other areas where businesses are in charge?Can you imagine what would happen if our world is continually run for a profit rather than how we affect each other and the environment? Can we disregard our impacts on this world? Can we continue to keep climate change a myth created to take advantage of us? Can we accomplish anything if we stare and point accusing fingers at everyone but ourselves? Until when will it become clear that while humans are more advanced with technology, we are still not above the natural cycle of life and depend on ecosystems? Sometimes it seems that it will never happen, those who speak for the environment should just leave until someone who cares an awful lot comes along. The United States, as the third largest country in the world, has a unique responsibility, not only a responsibility to a global universe but to the many, many future generations of humans that will live in our homes, and towns of today. Our country is always looking towards the next, newest, brightest generation, but ironically, never far enough to consider those set more in the future. It seems those even born fifteen years in the future will not be considered in our quest to make life prosperous for the now. The aim of a better now, has driven many campaigns for economic progress and even regulations on business. We emphasize corporation, expansion, profit and employment; the great wilderness should not be so easily forgotten. While we focus on economics, which we arguably could not live without, our environment, our homes, our cities, our heritage create an identity for all of us, one of clear springs, seemingly impossibly towering trees, fields of weaving grass, tall cattails in a marsh, late night peepers, soaring birds, the shimmer of heat over the smallest grains of an orange sand. Where we live shapes how we are, a large country with so much biodiversity and people. Even so, when a fog covers the natural jewels of the sky, and the great water poisons not only our own but that of innocent beings, we seem to think we are above ecosystems. Where will we go if we destroy our home? For the well being of our many futures, we must be conscious of our environment and how our actions will permanently affect it. A part of our well being as a global society and country rests on the protection of our homes, both for us of the present and those of the future, as the nature both defines who we are today but also who we have been for the future.

Another consideration for the United State’s environment is the possibility that with increased amounts of abuse to the ecosystem, science will not be able to help us recover. This idea has been showcased around the world and even in this country yet, as a people and government, we always seem to ignore environmental issues, as though they are not related nor do they apply to us, as if we are able to shake a wad of cash at them and make them disappear. Around the world and even in our country, those around strip mining have always had worse health. With newer technology, we are able to see that communities around these mining towns have more instances of cancers and genetic birth defects. For the sake of a job, and profit, these actions have been not given as much credit for the horrible source of illness and destruction they have become. Tops of mountains, habitats, cut down for specific materials then left as a toxic sludge that will poison the surrounding areas is sure to cause many health issues yet is not emphasized in our country for the profit it brings. This much is evident not only from how our own people have been treated but how others in different countries have been as well, when ecosystems start to be destroyed, humans are adversely affected as well. In Japan, this occurred for many years with very drastic consequences for the fishermen around the Minamata bay. The Minamata company had been dumping mercury in the water, poisoning not only sea life, the cats, but also the fishermen whose livelihood and meals depended on their fishing. By introducing mercury into the ecosystem, the company had increased toxicity throughout the different biological levels in the area. Other animals experienced acute mercury poisoning and humans eventually did as well, although they had not known at the time and instead called it the Minamata disease. In this instance, humans had poisoned the environment, hurting their own people and causing irreversible nerve damage. Science hasn’t been able to help cure cancer completely, nor has it been able to reverse large effects of poisoning. The combined ignorance and drive for competition has wreaked havoc on the environment poisoning and destroying not only wildlife which we depend on but also our own health, or well being.

As we poison our own and forget the large impact of the environment, the United States is unable to truly aid other countries or take part in global humanity issues earnestly. Right now the United States will potentially decide whether they have the power to hurt a group of people whom have been deceived and mistreated since before the foundation of our country. These people’s situation has been, while not hidden, not reported in the election frenzy that comes every four years. The Standing Rock Sioux in Dakota are some of the Native Americans that our country has forgotten, ignored and abused over the years. What’s most shocking now is that even now our government doesn’t respect them. We are taught from kindergarten about the Native Americans, their aid, thanksgiving, and of our own actions. As newcomers, our ability to push those out of their homes and wage biochemical warfare was and is outstanding. Now we are facing two problems with the Dakota Access Pipeline; the treatment of Native Americans and the likeliness to continue to pollute the ecosystem more. This pipeline runs through the only water source for the Sioux and will not both affect these people but also the larger ecosystem in the area. To pollute water is to contaminate a non-renewable, essential resource. The water cycle proves that all of our water had been recycled, what will happen if we pollute more and more of it? The ecosystem around the Standing Rock Sioux, does this not matter? While some may say that oil pipelines are safe, people also claimed nuclear reactors to be safe. And more innocuous pipelines have caused problems with both polluting water and poisoning humans. You don’t have to look farther than Flint. These “water protectors”, their preferred title, have garnered the attention of people within the UN and other human rights groups. How can the United States continue to aid others fight loss of human rights as we both deny these people their’s and continue to move towards polluting the environment despite possible repercussions for society?

As humanity progresses with new technology and industry, the environment seems to be less than a second thought, perhaps not even a third. The situation has even progressed to extreme climate change, kids learn about in school-- there are labs that exemplify it, and graphs that show the supporting data-- being polarized as a political agenda, as though major hurricanes, tropical storms, unusual temperature have been something always here. If we continue to disregard the importance of wildlife and the environment, we face not only endangering and befouling these parts of the world but ourselves as well. As a president, it is essential to help people not only with economic stability but also physical well being, for now and the future, by properly caring for the environment, and taking preventative measures.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Clarkston Community Schools

Eisele IB ELA 12


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