Molly M. Washington

Our Environmental Crisis

The environment is a pressing issue that is constantly put on the back-burner. It is time to address this critical issue, before it is too late.

Dear Mrs. Clinton,

My name is Molly McLeod and I am a 17-year-old living in Washington State. As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, the issue that is my priority to address is that of climate change and ecosystem destruction. This issue should not be considered important; it should be considered critical. Without a healthy environment, there will be nothing left of the world, therefore making crucial issues such as economy, equality, and foreign affairs, trivial.

This issue is important to me because I can see the harmful effects of pollution and climate change in my environment. I am in full support of your clean energy plan, but I believe strongly that fracking is devastating to the environment. As president of the United States, the first step you can take to restoring our beautiful planet is to stop hydraulic fracking by working with Congress to pass a law that requires all fracking companies to release their chemicals. With the public becoming more aware of the toxic chemicals being pumped into our ground and water supply, I am confident that fracking will be put to an end. I am thankful that you recognize the environmental crisis that has become my life, and unlike Donald Trump you move towards clean energy. Unleashing toxins into our environment is not worth the trillions of dollars in natural gas.

Large corporations think only of money, not of how their actions are affecting future generations. This monetary way of thinking is what will cause my future children to be the cleanup crew of the generations before me. The time is now to fix how we are treating our planet. Air pollution is well known throughout the country, so why aren’t we doing anything to fix it? Farmlands (specifically cattle) release harmful amounts of methane into the atmosphere, thus contributing to the greenhouse gasses that are melting our polar ice caps. A way to fix this as president is to work with large company farmers to ensure that they are following regulations and that they are treating their cattle well so that there is not an overabundance of cows. Supporting local farmers and decreasing the amount that people rely on large company farmers (like Tyson) will reduce the amount of methane released into the atmosphere. Large farmlands with a high concentration of animals in one area lead to toxic chemical runoff or excessive nutrient runoff into streams and other water supplies, causing toxic water or algal blooms.

The way that we treat our water and marine ecosystems is a whole other issue to tackle. Near off of my coast is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is a patch of plastic and trash the size of Texas floating around in the Pacific. It is so large that nothing can grow beneath it. As a figure of authority, I am asking you to spread awareness to the amount of plastic floating in our oceans. Plastic in marine ecosystems will soon outnumber fish in our waters. According to National Geographic, 8 million tons of plastic are being dumped into the ocean every year. We need to start cracking down on plastic production. A simple step in this direction is requiring composting bins in schools and offices. I volunteer to sort through the garbage at my school almost every day in order to compost and reduce the amount of trash that my school produces. We need to have more groups that do things like advocate for composting, plastic reduction, and clean energy. Cracking down on the amount of plastic used in packaging will also reduce that amount of plastic that goes into our oceans and landfills. One more step you can take is the ban of all plastic bags in grocery stores. In my community, plastic bags are no longer allowed and paper bags cost 5 cents. This motivates people to use reusable bags.

The environment provides not only a source of tranquility, beauty, and health, but it is the source of all life. I want my future children to see the tallest evergreens, the vast plains of grass, the icy slopes on the mountains, and the crystal clear waters I so often swim in. Please, make the environment a well-known public issue, spread the awareness, and reduce our pollution. Not because a 17-year-old from Washington wrote a letter to you among the thousands you get every day, but because our lives depend on it.


Molly McLeod