Both climate change and COVID-19 are horrible crises that everyone should worry about, but right now the world is focusing on what they both do to the economy. Everyone is very focused on COVID-19 but we also want to make sure everyone knows that climate change is still here and we need to do something. You cannot just say, “Oh, someone else will deal with it.” No, you need to stand up, we are all part of this and we all need to work on this problem together.
In a way COVID-19 is actually helping the environment. There are less cars on the road and fewer airplanes being used because people have had to cancel their trips and so many people are staying home. This means less fossil fuels being used, which is good for the environment. Some people think that COVID-19 is like nature’s revenge on us for destroying the planet.
People are stressing out about COVID-19 so much, partly because there are so many people in the news talking about its effects on the world. We are not saying people should not be stressed out, people should be taking the virus seriously because our lives are definitely not normal with COVID-19. Schools are closed and basically the whole world is shut down because of COVID-19. We cannot see our friends or do anything without having to be careful of being too close to others. Nobody can really live their normal daily lives now that COVID-19 has basically hit the whole world.
There is also the fact that COVID-19 is bad for the environment. Before the pandemic the world had too much plastic garbage and pollution already. Since the epidemic started the world has produced more plastic to be more sanitary, which is really helpful to help stop the spread of the virus, but also terrible for climate change and the world.
Even though you don’t feel it, it doesn’t mean climate change is not there. We’re not saying that people should not be stressing out about the virus, but if people were like this about climate change we would feel stressed every moment of every day. If people started to think of climate change the way they do COVID-19 we would start to see huge differences in society. People should think that climate change is as important as COVID-19 but many people do not.
Every once and a while there will be something in the news about climate change, something like: The ice is melting in the arctic because of climate change so the polar bears have nowhere to call home. Or, students are striking for the climate downtown. With COVID-19 there are daily or twice a day updates on what is happening around the world and in our own city. If this started happening because of climate change then people would start to think about their actions just as much as they think about the virus. COVID-19 has people thinking, “Is it safe for me to buy groceries?” or “I have to stay away from that person.”
We are also not saying that you should always be thinking about climate change but it would really help if people would think more about their actions and what they are doing to the environment.
If everyone was always thinking about climate change a lot of people would start to get depressed, because yes, it is that bad. On the other hand, if everyone was always thinking about climate change people would start to realize the impact that climate change is going to make in just a few years. People should have climate change in the back of their minds whenever they are making a decision – anywhere and everywhere.
In just one decade, climate change will be non reversible. That means that if we don’t work hard enough to save our planet then eventually we will have no chance at all. It means that in 10 years climate change will be with us forever, destroying the environment. There is still hope! If everyone would just work together and be more conscious of their actions.
Nova Saskia Roan and Lucy Jane Erickson (age 12)