Spring break began for UF students on March 1, 2019, which prompted me and thousands of my peers to return to our homes for a week-long vacation. For me, my trip involved returning to my slice of paradise in Jupiter, Florida. While I have been home, I have visited some of my favorite places like Jupiter Beach and also, Miami Beach. While visiting these places has been both refreshing and relaxing, it has also reminded me of the stark situation we are facing—climate change.
While climate change is on the top of my list of worries for the world, it is easy to push out of my mind since, for most of the year, it is out of sight. However, being home has helped to foster a new fear in me—a fear for my future children. While my parents and I enjoyed a mostly unchanged Jupiter, in terms of climate at least, I have doubts that my future children will be able to say the same.
Unfortunately, we are in a new geological time period—the Anthropocene. Moreover, we are rapidly approaching the point of no return in terms of fixing our struggling, gasping earth. Global warming is estimated to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if we continue at our current pace. While this may not seem striking, this has the potential to bring about devastating effects on the planet and consequently, the human race.
Even more frightening, if you were born in 2000, you too will be around 30 years old when climate change is in full effect. If you are anything like me, this will be around the time you will be wanting to settle down and have children. For us family hopefuls, this means that our children will be living and dealing with the worst effects of climate change in their young adult years.
As a future parent, this is particularly devastating and saddening. I am also not given much hope due to the snail-like speed of policymakers. We continue to pollute and rape the earth with no pause. If there is money still to be made, unfortunately, business will run as usual.
This is putting our earth, my peers, and our future children, at risk for disaster. As I sit on the beach in my hometown, I think of the bleak future that exists for my unborn children.
However, I still have a sliver of hope that we humans will come to our senses and realize that there is no human race without earth—a place to call home. Climate change is not only putting us at risk but our unborn children at risk.
If you aren't enraged, you aren't listening. Our earth needs us more than ever.