Gabriella F. New York


Pollution in America

Dear Future President,

I am writing to you, our future leader, to discuss the global problem that is carbon emission pollution. The United States needs to significantly reduce the size of our carbon footprint, or we will not live to see the consequences. This is an important issue simply because we live here. The Earth gives us so much, it is time we give back. If we want to ensure a happy, healthy planet for ourselves and future generations, we need to take the steps forward to do so. These issues not only affect me personally, but on a global level as well.

I’ve grown up in a small city in upstate New York famous for its leather industry. As the demand for leather decreased, however, the waste increased. Just two blocks down from my home stands an old sore of a leather tannery, intimidating in size along with its unwelcoming presence. The potent odor emitted from the ventilators is enough to make any person turn in disgust. But lying adjacent to the blemish that stands there, is a small, quaint creek, once beautiful with water glimmering in the sun, pristine in its natural state as mother nature intended, an ideal fishing spot. The waste dumped into the a lake has turned it into just as big of a sore as the tannery. The water is mucky brown and the only thing that can be fished out is a shopping cart from a supermarket down the road. What used to be a beautiful part of our littered city is now just another eye sore to add to the list. The once perfect water is now strewn with PFOAs. This experience is what sparked my interest in our world’s pollution. There’s more than just tanneries polluting our water and air.

Carbon emissions are a very big contributor to the problems with our environment. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that carbon dioxide remains in the climate system for a very long time, and has a 100 year global warming potential. They also stated that in 2014, carbon dioxide accounted for about 80.9% of all greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. It is evident that we take advantage of the Earth and cause more pollution than we ever should. The burning of fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and oil account for about 87% of that, the rest left to land use changes and industrial processes, according to the non-profit organization, “What’s Your Impact”. The carbon emission leaves our air dirty, and full of harmful chemicals that can cause serious health problems. According to the American Lung Association, these dangerous pollutants can affect development, cause wheezing and coughing, shortness of breath, and even lung cancer. If we don’t reduce our footprint for our planet why not for ourselves? Now we could be selfish and disregard our Earth’s well-being, but that only results in negative effects in our bodies and in our lives. Not only is our planet at risk, but our lives as well.

There are measures and steps to be taken to help these problems, and we must work together to achieve our common goal. To make this change we need to stop our country’s reliance on fossil fuels, and focus on renewable energy - let’s not forget fossil fuels are a finite resource. Passing a law to make production of gas-reliant vehicles illegal or even limited, and raise the production and selling of electric vehicles would reduce the amount of smog in our air significantly. Carbon Offsets to Alleviate Poverty (COTAP), a non-profit organization, says that we can reduce our carbon footprint by simply driving the speed limit; so there are easy, simple ways to improve this problem.

I am aware you get many of these letters, but as our future president, please take into account the current state of our planet and where it is headed. We will not have a world to live in - let alone a country to govern if we continue to choose these harmful, unhealthy choices. Now, I ask you to take action, as I can only do so much. Make the change in the world it needs. Take that step forward in improving the world in which we live.



Gloversville High School

English 12

Blocks B1, A3, and B3.0

All letters from this group →