Years ago, when I was 8 years old, I was obsessed with outer space. I wanted to go out into space, study space, and explore space. I found the idea of space to be one of the most beautiful things. Planets, stars, new ideas, the possibility of life, and the beauty of the unknown felt captivating to a 3rd grader. But while I learned about crumbling planets and exploding stars, I faced a strange, humbling sense of mortality. I knew that billions of years into the future the sun would explode, destroying earth with no trouble at all. I shuddered at the fact that my great, great, great times-a-million grandchildren would likely die if they remained on our planet during that explosion. It scared me to think about facing an imminent death like that, and it scared me even more to unrealistically imagine that I would live to see that day.
Looking back, I didn't know much about technological advancement. I understood the sinking feeling a person feels when they are afraid or feel unable to fix a big problem. In fact, I think I understand it more now than I did then.
“”We have to unite behind the science””, says Greta Thunberg. "We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time."
Our world is dying. Only this time, it isn't the sun exploding. It isn't a zombie apocalypse. It wasn't created by an evil scientist in a lab; there is no true, singular villain to our story. Climate change is the biggest, most world-ending crisis that anyone could have imagined. We are running out of time, and worse, we are ignoring and actively denying that it's happening at all.
I no longer have to worry about my grandchildren billions of years into the future. I now worry about my children in 10-20 years. I worry about myself, and the opportunities my kids and I will have or won’t have. I worry about the experiences my children will be able to participate in.
As our home comes crashing down around us, we need people to worry, and then take action. We need to change immediately, but change will not happen on its own. Now is not the time to be polite, gentle, or lenient. Now is not the time to expect someone else to do things for you. Now is not the time for solely picking up litter or turning out the lights. Individual actions are not enough to solve this problem. We need radical action, action to change a mindset of waste and privilege into a sustainable system that benefits health, the economy, and of course, the environment that we and millions of other species depend on for survival.
This is why I support a rapid transition away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy. A well designed carbon price and Green New Deal can help us get there. Are you ready to take action in Florida? Join me and the other Our Climate Florida Fellows and lobby your Federal Representative and Senators today!