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We Are Dying.

By Daphne Sakavellas

Edited by Danika Suh

If you are part of one of the newer generations right now or one of the kids with (potentially) many years ahead of them, I'd assume you're planning for college. Maybe even what job you want to have or anything along those lines. You shouldn't. There is no future like that in store for you. In the direction our planet is heading, by 2100, we could very well be in the midst of the 6th mass extinction on planet Earth. We have absolutely decimated this world that we were given. This is not a wild planet anymore; this is a human’s world. We run it and we have run it into the ground. It can only descend deeper into disaster from here, if our current trajectory continues.

Currently, our global population is roughly 7.8 billion. In 1937, it was around 2.3 billion. It has almost tripled since, which is insane. The carbon in our atmosphere is at 415 parts per million, compared to then, 280 parts per million. In 1937, the remaining wilderness was at 66%, while it is at a staggering 35% now. These statistics alone are absolutely shocking. It's hard to imagine what the future brings, but scientists have come up with a prediction. It's pretty horrifying.

The following is the estimated timeline according to David Attenborough’s “A Life On Our Planet.” In the 2030’s, the Amazon rainforest will have been so cut down to the point where it would not produce enough moisture anymore. It will presumably burn and become a vast dry savannah. This will decimate an incredible amount of species and skew our global water cycle. The arctic will start to not even have any ice in the summer. This means, beyond increased extinction of species and, I'd assume, higher sea levels, more sunlight will be absorbed by the Earth. Since there would be no ice to reflect much of that light back out to space, global warming will speed up even more. In the 2040’s, frozen soil will begin to thaw out, which in turn will produce mass amounts of methane gas. This greenhouse gas is colossally more potent than carbon dioxide, leading to an even larger, more immediate increase in climate change. In the 2050’s, as a result of this immense heating of the globe, the oceans will naturally become warmer and more acidic. The coral reefs will die and fish populations will plummet. In the 2080’s, soil will become so overused that global food production will be in absolute peril. Insects that pollinate our plants, such as bees, will completely vanish. Our food supply will be destroyed. The weather will become increasingly unstable. We are already seeing evidence of this now, and we cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like in 60 years. Fast-forward to the 2100’s. The world will be 4 degrees Celsius (39.2 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer. Think about how astonishing that is. Much of the Earth will become completely uninhabitable. Millions of humans will become homeless with no means available to survive. Thus will commence the 6th mass extinction our Earth has encountered in its 4.543 billion years of existence.

We are nearly at the point of no return. If we do not make serious changes to reduce our carbon emissions and begin major population control, this, if not much worse, will be our reality. There is no question. There is no debate. We are dooming ourselves and every single other living organism on this planet. Our only planet. The only planet with life like this that we know to exist anywhere in this universe. Our one and only chance - and we are destroying it. We have sent our world down a path of destruction, and all because of greed.

Ultimately, humanity's greed, ignorance, and egos will be what leads us to our end. In a way, you can compare our planet's ultimate demise to Julius Caesars. His ego and refusal to recognize and accept all the signs of conspiracy led to his murder, just as is happening to us; except in our case, it's our own signs which we are failing to come to terms with. The conspirators' jealousy leads them to commit an irreversible crime, comparable to the greed that runs the economy.

This greed is what is going to keep us down this path. Eventually, any wealth amassed by these companies will be rendered completely pointless, once our planet spirals to the point of no return. It's shocking how selfish and ignorant many, many people are. To some, no matter how many proven facts are thrown at them, they will still dismiss it and carry on with their ignorance. It is these selfish human beings who have killed us. They are why we will have no true future. Remember this when a dystopian future pertaining to population control becomes reality, if there's ever a push for change. They are who should be first. They should pay for their crimes against humanity and the planet, same as someone who's murdered another human being.

In all honesty, I don't know how we can convince these powerful, blindsided people that change is a necessity, but I do know that we must change our current course swiftly and with intensity. I am a minor. I have no legal say in my future. All I can do is try to influence minds and spread information. Anyone else in my position should do the same, if they don't want to live through the beginning and possible occurrence of the mass massacre of human beings. If not for yourself, for yours or everyone else's children. They will be even worse off than us. We are the generation that must kickstart change before it's too late, which is a point that is in the very near future. If you are able to vote, you must vote. If not, you can write to government officials, such as senators or congressmen. You can spread awareness through social media or to your friends. You can start and sign petitions. I truly believe this is the most pressing issue affecting every human being today, compared to any of the other social justice rendezvous people are chasing right now. None of that change will even matter if we don't fix this first. We must change how we do things. We don't even have the luxury to complain about other problems in this world, and I don't think people realize that. Genuinely nothing else people are trying to change right now will matter, unless this issue is dealt with. This is not meant to be insensitive in any way, but to spell out the truth. Climate change must be at the forefront, nothing else. Yes there are very big issues such as racism, sexism, intolerance etc, but the absolute most important thing is saving our planet. We need to save this world, before our mere survival instincts become the only reason that these other problems diminish. We can't let ourselves perish without even trying to do something about it. Humans are so incredibly advanced, yet so stupid. It will be a real shame if we never get to see what humans are truly capable of discovering, all because of the fact that we were too occupied by the selfish endeavor of wealth. Do anything you can to save the planet, it is your only home. It is our only chance. Be part of the reason the human race survives.

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