Dear Future President,
The air smells acidic. It burns my throat as I try to look out the window, but all I can see is gray and an apocalyptic burning red sun. The raging fires in California on federal land were not caused simply because of unkempt forest grounds, they are occurring because climate change has made our forests more prone to wildfires and longer fire seasons.
Across the globe, the oceans are acidifying, diseases are festering, species of flora and fauna are disappearing, the ferocity of natural disasters worsens each year, garbage is floating in our oceans and human life hangs in the balance.
Our world is deteriorating. We have known it for almost a century and now we have less than 10 years to save our planet.
As president, you must implement federal policies within our country to ensure that we move towards the preservation of our environment. You must rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and devise a plan to cut carbon emissions, protect climate refugees and deal with the global issue of waste.
America’s hegemony and influence on the rest of the world are substantial and, when it comes to the climate crisis, we must be the global power that we advertise to be.
What you do in your next four years as commander-in-chief can determine the quality of life for people across the globe. We are in the midst of a crisis. The conversation must shift from whether or not climate change is real to what we can do about it.
Climate change is happening right now and its effects are detrimental and potentially irreversible. As the President of the United States, it is your duty to serve future generations and fulfill the responsibility of being a catalyst for global change.
This is not a request or a proposal. It is a requirement. Future president, we are depending on you to take action against climate change and put the people before the profits of large oil and gas corporations. The clock is ticking.
Cleveland Charter High School
Los Angeles, Calif.