Op-Ed Draft- Comp0327

Learning to Adapt in a Burning Habitat

As a child, climate change was never a widespread issue that adults emphasized, or that threatened my world as I grew older. I was taught to recycle, that deforestation by corporations was something we should fight against, and that I should be eco-friendly in everything I did. Today, children watch the news and their brains are filled with the fear of a burning planet, the thought that the human race’s habitat is diminishing and counter-measures need to be taken as soon as possible, or else our beloved earth will perish; the human race’s crumpling would only be collateral damage. Earth is the only planet in the observable universe known to be capable to supporting life. Our planet is incredibly special in this regard, and should be treated as such. But it isn’t. Companies and corporations burn coal and fossil fuels, ripping holes in our ozone layer. Cars and factories pollute the air we need to breathe. The polar ice caps continue to melt more and more every day, causing sea levels to rise and threatening our coastline cities, while California and the Amazon rainforest are engulfed in flames. And yet the men and women in positions of power still refuse to listen to the cries of our generation, the generation who will live to see the effects of our society’s environment-destroying behavior. People in power need to listen, or our burning habitat will only continue to perish, whether we adapt with it or not.

California’s wildfires are the latest example of what is believed to be the effects of climate change and global warming. Rising temperatures in California dry the state out, causing drought-like conditions which are primed to burn. On top of that, California’s Santa Ana winds, which last through the fall and help to regulate wildfire season, are becoming less and less frequent. Without these winds, wildfires run ramped across canyons and highways, covering over 16,000 acres within hours of igniting. Hundreds of residents were forced to evacuate. Without these winds, researchers fear wildfire season could extend into winter. However, across the country, measures are being taken to prevent wildfires. In Georgia and Florida, controlled fires are used to burn unnecessary brush which could ignite and cause a wildfire. This also helps surrounding flora and trees to grow and flourish. Measures like this are necessary in California, where the environment currently seems primed to burn and in dire need of help.

As a member of the generation that will watch our world burn if we do not help it, I believe that circumstances such as California’s wildfires should be treated as a warning, and that world leaders need to open their eyes-and ears-to the truth of climate change. Without immediate action, the earth will only continue to heat and perish, and we will only continue to see and feel the effects of it. To those in power, the men and women who create and sign laws and bills into existence, I beg you to see our burning habitat, to hear my generation’s cry for help, and to help us see a beautiful world for this generation and the generations to come.

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