Not Just An Issue | Teen Ink

Not Just An Issue

November 3, 2020
By RioApril14 SILVER, Seattle, Washington
RioApril14 SILVER, Seattle, Washington
5 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story within you." - Dr. Maya Angelou

As a 14 year old girl whose future depends on our government’s action against the Climate Crisis, following the 2020 presidential race has been very frustrating for me. So far, climate issues have gotten ten minutes of airtime—ten minutes that many voters probably missed among the insults and interruption that was the last debate. 

President Trump talked about how the U.S. is doing ‘phenomenally’, disregarding the fact that we were ranked one of the worst countries in the world at decreasing emissions and temperature rise. And how he’s going to do whatever it takes to get ‘pristine’ water and air, while simultaneously brushing off the fact that he’s spent his time in office rolling back over 70 environmental regulations and disregarding the fact that people were tear gassed for trying to protect their water against pipelines that he approved. With every minute, It took more of my willpower not to smash the computer screen. 

Candidate Biden has a better track record when it comes to climate action, if not perfect. He’s promised to bring the U.S. back into the Paris Agreement, a plan between nations to moderate the effects of the Climate Crisis to a level that we can survive by keeping global temperature rise well below 2.0 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The Paris Agreement is not a ‘disaster’, as Trump said. It’s an absolutely necessary plan to help us survive. Bringing us back in is a start. 

He’s promised to take action against the dangerous pollution disproportionately affecting low-income communities and communities of color. Biden is unquestionably better than Trump in terms of climate action (not that that’s saying much), but I’m tired of this being treated like just another question on the debate topics list. 

The Climate Crisis is not just an issue. This is an issue that my generation’s future depends on, and by treating it like it doesn’t really matter, the same is being done to us. We need a leader who will honor the young people, people of color, all of us who are already being hurt by the lack of climate action. This is not something that could happen, might happen, will happen but won’t really affect anyone. The Climate Crisis is here and it’s going to affect every single one of us, no matter what we might think. So I think it’s time we start acting like it. 

The author's comments:

This opinion piece is about how frustrating it is to see something that your life depends on get written off as just another unimportant issue.

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