Climate Change And The Bleak Future For Our Children

Climate Change And The Bleak Future For Our Children

I would love to have children one day, but I have an increasing fear that my future children will be born into a world where extreme weather and food insecurity is the new norm.

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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.

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An Apology Letter To Mother Nature

I am sorry, but sorry just isn't enough.
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Dear Mother Nature,

I don’t even now where to begin. The simple phrase of “I’m sorry” just doesn’t cut it. You have provided us with food, shelter, air, water, resources and most importantly, love. For centuries you have unconditionally provided for mankind and the animals we share this planet with, and you never truly ask for anything in return but care and love. You truly are the mother of the world. You support all races, religions, genders, ages and all walks of life. You love unconditionally and provide for us always. Not just the things we need to survive, but the very things that make life worth living.

We have four seasons that fill our lives with pure beauty. Summer brings us the beautifully hot sun, warm sand between our toes and cool water to swim in. Fall, which gives us trees of all different shades, the fallen leaves we push into piles and jump in as kids, warm apple cider and nights by the fire. Winter, which gives us the beautiful blanket of sparkling, white snow, the scent of pine trees in the air, hills to sled down and frozen ponds to skate on. You then tie it all together with the complete rebirth of the land in spring. Animals giving birth, flowers poking their heads, all new vibrant colors and the melodious songs of birds return.

Mother Nature, you have given us beautiful and exotic islands to travel to and explore. You have given us wide mountain ranges to follow and find new adventures on. There are deep oceans teeming with colorful fish and coral, dark caverns and unexplored portions man has yet to touch. We have rivers to follow that carry the currents down unchartered paths. You have even given us our animal companions to share this planet with. They clean our water and air, they help provide us with food, but most importantly they give us companionship and love. This is the beautiful home you have made for us, Mother Earth, and for that I am sorry.

I am sorry that many people do not see our planet this way. That many people see the wonders you have created as simply commodities to be used up, mass produced and wasted, all at the expense of making money. We build skyscrapers to block out the sun, install artificial light that blocks out the sky and stars, we no longer feel grass between our feet but we have cold concrete, certain animals are seen as not having emotions but simply being put on this earth for us to use as food and mistreat. We take all you have provided for us and use it until we can use no more. We exploit this beautiful home you have given us. And as we exploit it, we seem to wound you.

You cry in pain, but no one seems to hear it. Those who do hear you have been silenced by higher powers, those who try and mend your wounds are removed from the public. It seems we have attempted to numb ourselves from your pain, as it hurts us too much to know that we have begun the process of killing you. Only now have many people begun to realize the damage we have caused you, Mother Nature. Only now can we maybe, and I stress maybe, begin to fix the damage we have done to you. Mother Nature, I am sorry. But sorry will never be enough.

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US Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo Finds Camaraderie At Texas A&M

"At my alum, we were taught not to lie cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do. Then I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses!"

- Mike Pompeo

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On Monday, April 15, U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, visited Texas A&M; University in College Station. I was fortunate enough to attend and ask him (preselected and edited) questions in front of the audience.

Fair warning, this article may not be your typical journalistic article that reports on political figures. There are plenty of those out there that you can and should read! But for this article, let's spice things up; I want to paint a picture of my first time communicating with a globally authoritative entity, including how Pompeo presented himself and how that presentation was received by my home.

Tone-wise, the situation felt like it had a self-conscious sense of esteem to it - likely stemming from the fact that Pompeo graduated from a military academy and was currently speaking to a few hundred people at a school with similar ties to the military.

Despite the rigid stuffiness and the irrational feeling that I was going to get sniped by the Secret Service if I even looked at the Secretary wrong, I was still excited to get in there and shake things up. Bug-eyed and buzzing with the anticipation that politics gives me, I checked in with the press and media. I was ready to absorb the experience.

Here's a breakdown of all things Pompeo-town.

First impression: as Pompeo, a sizable and stoic former CIA Director, stomped out to the podium, I couldn't help but compare him to other politicians. You see, Pompeo is not known for his glamour or his magnetism. But this seemingly unpolitical quality actually worked for this particular audience.

A strong aspect of the culture at TAMU is our laud of the useful, plain, forthright things, stripped of the glitz and straight to the point. Henceforth, I came to the conclusion that Texas A&M; is the perfect place for the relatively uncharismatic Secretary of State to directly explain diplomacy. Moreover, he urged the mini-versions of him in the crowd to pursue diplomacy and "learn how to shut up" as he did.

Relating to the presence of the Corps of Cadets on our campus, Pompeo contends, "diplomacy and military strike go hand in hand." He furthers his pitch, "the State Department has a long history of hiring people with a military background. And Texas A&M;, with its great military history, could provide many great public service leaders just as West Point has done through the years."

As questions from the audience permitted, he discussed foreign policy. Everywhere from "the crisis in Venezuela" to "coalitions in Turkey" to "sanctions in North Korea" was brought up. For the most part, the audience seemed to be tracking with him, listening intently (with the exception of a couple of folks in the audience who tried to interrupt his lecture in order to inquire about immigration reform and the Muslim ban). A straight-shooter, Pompeo was received well by the university with only a few personal anecdotes and jokes.

He did, however, get some laughs for popping any bubbles of political idealism when he said, "At my alum, we were taught not to lie cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do." (Fun fact: this phrase is also shared by Aggies!) He continues, "Then I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses!"

I don't mean to downplay Secretary Pompeo's charm. He made eye contact with me and every other interviewer, he greeted his listeners well, he skillfully subverted complex topics, and he spoke eloquently. But if today's political commentators argue that modern public servants prioritize style at the expense of substance - he would likely stand as the model antithesis to that statement, valuing substance over style in all matters.

As his time winded down, Pompeo stated that the reason why he does what he does, a laborer in the public sector, is to help the people of the United States, culturally and economically. The State Department currently justifies its existence with its diplomatic mission to aid developing countries in their journeys to becoming stable and democratic players in both the global village and the world market.

His parting words to us were, "I know that you all have a tremendous sense of duty, a tremendous sense of service. I hope that today that you can see that America's State Department is committed to living up to those standards."

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