Lakewood League Of Women Voters Mary Warren Impact Scholarship Winner Emma Hart's Winning Essay
"How can our federal, state, and local government better provide for basic human needs?"
The earth, the climate, the environment, the place every living creature calls their home is in peril. Our seven oceans, coral reefs, land, ozone layer, and our way of life is in jeopardy. We as humans have yet to heed the warnings that the earth has been sending us. The ozone layer has been depleting for years. The oceans have been trashed and are unrecognizable and aren’t comparable to what most of us believe them to be. They are no longer iridescent blue pools full of beautiful life and are instead aquatic landfills full of the leftovers of human consumption and waste. These landfills are full of materialistic aspects of life that are no longer housed on dry land in order to let individuals forget this unavoidable problem. The climate crisis is the single most important issue facing all young individuals on this planet today and it is still not being addressed by politicians as it should be.
I propose that Congresspeople that receive contributions or have connections to the fossil fuel industry should be barred from voting on any issues regarding the climate crisis. Yes, this is an extreme solution. An extreme solution, however, is necessary for such a perilous situation that all young people will be facing in fifty years. American politicians are greedier than ever before and this is seen in how many representatives frivolously vote on climate-related issues. The irresponsibility and overall disregard for younger Americans are blatant when so many politicians refuse to vote for the extreme and drastic measures that are needed to save our planet. By 2070, more than 3 billion people are expected to live in extreme heat which will cost many lives. We need a drastic change. We need young people more than ever before to be able to control their future and this will be done by only allowing unbiased congresspeople to vote on climate-related legislation instead of leaving it to older representatives who will not be on this earth to face the consequences of climate change.
There are many proposed solutions to climate change: walk more, go vegan, don’t buy fast fashion, recycle, use a reusable water bottle. Yes, these are all great things the consumer can do to mitigate their carbon footprint, but they fail to do one important thing — put pressure on politicians. If we truly want to save our earth, our oceans, and our coral reefs and, most importantly, save the many lives that will be lost, we must put pressure on those who can make the necessary change that is needed.
Emma is planning to major in environmental studies the Fall of 2022.