Yiyi Ouyang is a senior at The Webb Schools. (Photo courtesy of Yiyi Ouyang)
The Webb Schools

Message to my next president: Listen to the youth

Dear future president, 

It seems that the world is in trouble. Temperatures are rising, along with ocean levels, wildfires scorch drylands and we face a pandemic that’s pushed us into lockdown. The whole world looks like a mess to me.   

According to scientists, we will pass a point of no return in less than a decade and will not be able to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Accord. And this doesn’t bode well for us, the generation that inherits this world. 

We have had no say in your climate policies. And although we have been inspired by key figures like Greta Thunberg, I feel that it is not enough. We need immediate change to the way we tackle issues of climate. 

Indeed, Californians have seen firsthand the effects of climate change as wildfires raze landscapes of shrubbery. These effects have forced hundreds of thousands of residents to evacuate their homes as they watch their towns burn like firewood. And at least 30 people have died in these recent California fires.

There’s no telling what’s to come next. But no bright future certainly awaits us if we continue down our current path.  

Above all else, we have to confront the reality of the pandemic we face. Hopefully, you will resolve it soon; what’s more important is preventing another virus with the widespread impacts like the one we are facing today. Whether that comes from stricter laws or more focused policies, I couldn’t tell you, but I will say that asking for the voice of the younger generation, of the ones who will inherit the earth, will always be the wisest solution. 

I won’t ask you to fix everything, a feat that may not be possible at this point, as the solutions are not apparent. But please do try your best. 


Thank you,

Yiyi Ouyang