Wed, May 29, 2019 - Page 8 News List


Climate change a rights issue

In March, the UN published an article titled “Only 11 Years Left to Prevent Irreversible Damage from Climate Change.” Now why does this concern me? I’m merely a 14-year-old who is stumbling and trying to get through high school. I’ll tell you why.

In 2030, the damage will be irreversible. When I’m 25, I’ll have to live in a world where climate change has altered our lives forever — water shortages, food insecurity, forced relocation — with all 7.5 billion of us.

You all probably know the numbers, but I want to voice them one more time. The world is losing 413 gigatons of ice sheet per year. Our sea level is rising by 3.3 millimeters per year. Our global temperature has gone up by almost 1.2°C. We’ve shattered the records of the warmest temperatures on this planet in the past 19 years.

In 2017, there were 18 million new displacements because of weather disasters. Thousands of people have been forced to relocate. They are helpless and even homeless. Is climate change an environmental issue? I think it’s an issue of human rights.

I want to share a story with you. A story about a species native to Taiwan that might go extinct: Taiwanese white dolphins. Because of climate change, the broken habitats, the air pollution, they might die out.

And the same will happen to us too, if we don’t act now. New research has made it clear that Taiwan will be one of the first islands to be fully submerged in the sea as a result of climate change.

We will be the first mass wave of climate refugees. We will suffer the same fate that the Taiwanese white dolphins are suffering right now, and we will be facing death tolls we have never imagined before.

So I urge you to act. I urge you to act to save both the Taiwanese white dolphins and ourselves.

We know that government officials want to get re-elected and citizens want the easiest way out, but if we don’t do anything now, it will be too late by 2030.

Let’s reduce our carbon footprint. Take the bus more, waste less food. Taking small steps is more than enough. And ask the government to focus on making policies regarding green energy as well as zero waste.

Then we can walk toward a rosy future.

Emma Liu


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