Melissa Y. Minnesota

Letter to the Next President

A matter that must be discussed is that of pollution.

Dear Next President,

An important matter has been talked about, debated, and thought through during these past few decades. That issue is pollution. Many people seem to look the other way when winters turn out to be warmer and garbage is seen lying about in nature. Something must be done about this. See pollution does not just affect America but it affects the entire world and all of its inhabitants, plants and animals alike. We need to cut down on our reliance on fossil fuels, plastics, and other pollutants in our country to combat pollution on Earth.

In areas where not too many people are around, such as my front lawn, there are obvious signs of pollution. I remember walking home from my middle school, passing my front yard and seeing remains of plastic and styrofoam cups on the grass. An article written by Natalie Wolchover, titled “Why Doesn’t Plastic Biodegrade?”, explains why plastic cannot decompose. This is a problem since the average American throws away approx. 185 pounds of plastic a year, stated in “22 Facts About Plastic Pollution (And 10 Things We Can Do About It)” by Nicole D’Alessandro.

A lot of the world’s trash has to end up somewhere, right? Well, the ocean is the place where a lot of poorly disposed of plastics and other garbages are. “The Trash Vortex” report from Greenpeace, a non-governmental organization involved in over 40 different countries, tells that there’s a trash vortex in the north Pacific Ocean. It’s about the size of Texas and it threatens the lives of many marine organisms.

Another aspect of pollution is the use of fossil fuel (burning) and greenhouse gases which both contribute to global warming. I understand that there is a large amount of individuals who think that global warming is just a hoax; that it’s just a made up thing. There are many people in the world who don’t believe in it. However, science proves otherwise. And, in a BBC news story “Deep ice tells long climate story” by Jonathan Amos, a science reporter, tells of the high levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. Data collected from ice drilled in Antarctica reveals that carbon dioxide emissions are much higher than at any other time in the last 800,000 years. In another report, “IPCC Third Assessment Report - Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis”, explains that the burning of fossil fuels was the cause of the ¾ increase in carbon dioxide levels over the past two decades (of when the article was written). This proves otherwise to the folks who think that global warming is fictional.

One effect that global warming causes is flooding. A high temperature climate will lead to glaciers melting which then creates a rise in sea level. Brandon Miller, CNN senior meteorologist, wrote “2015 is warmest year on record, NOAA and NASA say”. In the article, he illustrates and provides images of what certain cities will look like if temperatures rise by just a few degrees celsius. All the photos share a common factor, the city is flooded by more than a foot of water. One of the most prominent cities in America, New York City, was featured in the slideshow, which, like all the other photos, was also engulfed with an overwhelming amount of water.

To end with, pollution is a topic of importance. Not only does pollution affect everyone in America, but also the entire planet. Pollution needs to be taken seriously and some sort of action needs to be taken to reduce and eliminate the amount of pollutants used in our country. I hope this letter has persuaded you to fix America’s polluting ways.

Yours truly,

Melissa Yang

10th grade

Mendota Heights, MN