Look outside the window: what is there? Beautiful, luscious green grass begging to be run across. A vibrant blue sky twinkling with sunlight melting through the healthy leaves. Puddles lining the sides of the street, evidence of the previous rainfall. Lakes and oceans add a sweet sound of bright blue water calmly rushing onto the rocks. Fish dart about under the waves, squirrels glide up and down the trees. It’s peaceful, beautiful, calm. But an image stains your mind and brings you out of the beauty around you and back to reality—the image of melting ice caps, massive natural disasters, polluted air around the earth. Future generations struggling to maintain a slowly dying earth. The incredible beauty of Earth unknown to our ancestors. Forgotten grass, forgotten peacefulness of rain, forgotten species around the world on land and water. And it’s just the beginning.

It’s impossible to hide from climate change. It affects each and every person on the earth: liberal, conservative, American, Asian, European, African, young, old, poor, wealthy, and everything in between. According to the New York Times article regarding climate change, permafrost in Siberia has been melting at a rapid speed. Areas of Washington currently have about 30 days of flooding a year—this number has quadrupled since 1960. Similarly, Wilmington, N.C., is now experience 90 days of flooding a year. The damage due to natural disasters has already escalated. Suddenly, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, and tornadoes are leaving a longer lasting imprint on their victims. These disasters terrorize nations around the world and bring about death and economic turmoil for countries. Countries that used to be in good financial standing find themselves struggling to make ends meet to rebuild a nation brutalized by vicious waves and winds.

The sickening issue with these statistics is that they are preventable. Humanity has become reckless with its usage of the earth. We take our natural resources for granted, forgetting that the Earth is not capable of reproducing most of these resources. Countries pour pollutants into the atmosphere, and carelessly dry the earth of their abilities. However, the human population has become oblivious to the issues of climate change. Some even believe that climate change is not real. The more citizens of earth forget about the ground they stand on, the more likely it is that we will lose Earth in a few short generations. Yet, no one can question the statistics and the facts of climate change. Climate change is not an issue we can leave for future generations. Reversing climate change must begin now in order to make a significant difference.

It is only fair to give credit to the efforts to change the ways of human behavior to protect the earth. Organizations have begun to raise awareness about the issue and attempted to implement law and policy to prevent the further abuse of Earth’s resources. Yet, for their efforts to be effective, each inhabitant of earth must participate in their goals, not a select few. Climate change is not an issue we can burden with future generations. If we turn our heads to the apparent effects around us, we can be certain that one day, children will have no image of Earth in their minds. Only a worn-out, overworked plot of land attempting to stay alive will remain.

Is there a clear solution? No. But we can begin to listen to those with ideas. No change can happen without a dream and a passionate hope. We are not doing half of what we could be. Rather, we are leaving it for future generations. If we got to see Earth as a paradise of nature, why should we deprive our ancestors of such luxury?