Riya K. Pennsylvania

The environment is the biggest issue we are facing right now.

Title sums it up.

Dear Future President,

I would first like to congratulate you in your success. I hope you will be a president we can all be proud of. I am writing to you about the issues I believe are most important according to current events and the present. The issue I think most important as of now would be the environment. I know the environment may not seem as big of a deal and that is it blown up beyond perspective. That is not true. Right now the environment is probably our biggest problem by far. Why is this? At this current age and time we have entered the Sixth Mass Extinction, and we are the ones who have caused it to come about. This is saying a lot because the last mass extinction happened 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs disappeared. If we continue to travel down this road eventually we will be called into oblivion. Dead. We would not want that for ourselves or for our posterity. I am of the generation who will be most influenced by the decisions your generation make. Many do not care because they know they will be gone before anything can truly affect them. But that is not the point is it? The next few years will be the most important times for the survival of all. And maybe older people do not care but I do and I know that my peers do as well. What will happen now will dictate what will come to be in further years of the future.

There are countless issues within the subject of the environment, some being pollution, habitat loss, deforestation, poaching, illegal hunting, climate change, and many more. I think they are all very important as they are all contributing to one thing; that thing being the downfall of the environment and the survival of the human race. A huge contributor is deforestation. Deforestation is something that has been going on for centuries, but never have the rates and the stakes been so high. Despite all the efforts to slow the rate of deforestation, it has only risen. The effects of deforestation are many. Pollution is from when the slash and burn method release ash and carbon dioxide into the air and from when runoff from the site gets into the water system and destroys aquatic life. The destruction of habitat that endangered animals need to survive is caused by deforestation. It also allows for poachers and illegal hunters to get easier access to the forest.

Another big factor is pollution. Pollution comes in many forms, through air, light, water and littering. Air pollution is caused by exhaust emitted from automobiles, released from factories, and from the methane and carbon released from permafrost. The permafrost has been melting due to climate change and when melted it releases greenhouse gases that have been trapped within it, which adds to the climate change. Light pollution disrupts the natural cycle of day to night and upsets the lives of many nocturnal animals. It is caused by the excess light from man made devices. Pollution’s effects on water are very serious. The acidity of water in the ocean has risen due to air pollution. Many key species are sensitive to the change in acidity and are quickly responding. For instance the dying coral reefs are caused by the rising acidity levels. The coral reefs hold one quarter of life in the ocean. They are key to the survival of the ocean. As stated before, runoff may enter the water system and contaminate the water. Silt will clog the gills of fish and kill them, chemicals like fertilizers will pollute and contaminate the water. Plants will block up the waterways and the water will no longer be safe for drinking. Water is the source of life on Earth, if the water is no longer safe then we are in serious trouble. And of course there is littering as well. There are trash islands out there in the middle of the ocean, all because we weren’t responsible enough to dispose of it properly. We need to fix that. Pollution is something we can all help out in fixing pretty easily.

You may not believe in global warming or that it is caused by humans but you cannot deny the fact that climate change is happening. Global warming is occurring because we have upset the balance of life and that has led to an even bigger upset. We have upset the balance of the world. And this needs to be fixed. So far global warming has started to drown islands and low-lying coastal lands, it has put many species in endangerment and is causing sever weather like Hurricane Sandy.

The environment is in serious trouble and if we don't do something fast then we will go extinct. Right now the environment is the biggest issue we are facing and it must be dealt with.

Thank you,

Riya Kumar

Bala Cynwyd Middle School

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