Dear Next President:
Our planet and country is a miracle, but one that cannot be sustained at the rate we are going and down the path we are headed. The odds of a planet being capable of hosting humans is incredibly, ridiculously low, but we were lucky enough to be that one. And this is what I would like to bring to your attention. When you think into it, we should be wanting to save our planet, preserve it, and as President, that is something you can help accomplish. But that isn’t what we’re doing at all. Instead, we are releasing tons of carbon dioxide into the air from factories and transportation, slowly killing the ozone layer and changing the climate. We are dumping billions of pounds of waste and garbage into the ocean, killing hundreds of thousands of animals every year. We contribute heavily to deforestation, demolishing dreams and forests of animals and plants with no regard for their well being, and without replacing the trees we terribly took from them. If this continues, soon there will be nothing left to take from our planet.
Our carbon footprint has a huge effect on climate change, our environment, and even our lives. The United States, while we are only 4% of the world’s population, we are responsible for around 25% of the Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions. Although greenhouse gasses also occur naturally, humans contribute greatly to greenhouse gas emissions. The number of people who die yearly from air pollution is over 50,000, more than 20,000 of those live in California cities. If we don’t make amends soon, our actions will have a lasting effect on the state of the atmosphere and climate. So if the world plans to maintain a healthy lifestyle for future generations, air pollution needs to be addressed.
Another reason our planet’s environmental status is tumbling downhill, is because of what we’re doing to animals and their habitats. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, over 18 million acres of forest are lost each year. Whether they are extracted for good reasons, or just for paper that we will just throw away, it doesn’t matter if we don’t give back as much as we take. Every tree, every forest that is destroyed, is an animal that is pushed out of it’s home. When it has no place to go, animals often go to the brink of extinction, or past. Even if their aren’t animals inhabiting the area, destroying and not replacing trees is literally cutting off our supply to oxygen. If only trees omitted WiFi signals instead of oxygen, which happens to be crucial to our survival.
The last topic I will mention, even though it is certainly not the last topic that exists within the range of my concern, is garbage and waste pollution, particularly household waste or basic items we throw in the trash. Everyday, when someone tosses some trash onto the ground nonchalantly, or just throws their candy wrapper when they’re done with it, that isn’t the end. The garbage will possibly be taken to a landfill, where it will rot until crushed, burned, or taken elsewhere. It could end up just drifting away, eaten by an poor animal, or picked up by a good samaritan. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough of those. Worse, it could end up in the ocean, destined to be the maker of some sort of marine animal or bird. Nearly 14 billion pounds of trash ends up in the ocean yearly, and each individual piece has an effect.
Between air pollution, water pollution, waste pollution, and deforestation we will no longer be able to thrive on this planet if we continue at the pace we’re going. And this is important to me because this is the planet that we are inheriting, this is the planet we need to improve for the next generations. There is no one to blame but ourselves. I greatly hope you put some consideration into my letter.
Sincerely,Elliot, a concerned student from Hudson, Ohio.