A letter written by Parrys Raines, featured at ARRCC's Youth Embassy
Parrys 16 and lives in the electorate of Cunningham in NSW. She is a passionate environmental advocate with some fantastic achievements to date. Find out more on her website www.climategirl.com.au
7th February 2009
Dear World Leaders
I am writing this letter to you all to ask a simple question about climate change and why you are not doing enough to help our planet – what are you waiting for?
My name is Parrys and I am 14 years old. I have been learning about the environment for a few years now and over the few years I have become really interested in climate change. The reason climate change has become a concern for me is that it is basically caused by human actions. I believe because we have contributed to climate change it is our responsibility to fix it. Climate change is everyone’s responsibility. As current world leaders I urge you to take more action, quickly – what are you waiting for?
You are in the position to make decisions that will ultimately decide our future. Please don’t hand me and my generation a planet in worse condition than what you inherited. My generation has the right to inherit a healthy planet – what are you waiting for?
Scientists have given you facts year after year telling you what is going to happen and what needs to be done – what are you waiting for?
The first real signs of climate change have been in the Polar Regions. The ice and permafrost are melting, species of animals will become extinct, and people will become environmental refugees and be relocated away from each other loosing their homes and culture. As the sea levels rise more people will be homeless and farmland flooded – what are you waiting for?
Trees are being cut down faster than we can replace them. Trees are vital to our planet I am sure you already know this. They provide so much to animals and humans and most importantly give us the oxygen we need to survive. Deforestation cannot continue at the current rate if we want to survive – what are you waiting for?
Our oceans, seas and rivers are also suffering. Coral reefs have already started to bleach. Reefs have a delicate eco system where all species that live there rely on each other for survival. If the temperature rises 2.4 degrees it could wipe out the whole of the Great Barrier Reef – what are you waiting for?
What will you do when weather patterns across the globe change? Look at what is already happening. Here in Australia in the south of the country we have had the worst bush fires in our countries history meanwhile in our north we have had severe flooding. We Australian’s have coped because the country worked together. We cannot replace the lives we have lost, some were children. In Europe and the USA faced terrible snow storms this winter. Natural disasters will become more frequent and they may be more severe. How will you manage this? – what are you waiting for?
In my research I have information that says the people that will be most affected by climate change are children. More children will die from hunger; more children will die from diseases such as malaria and they will have less water. In natural disasters children are the ones most to suffer the most because they cannot look after themselves. Children in developing countries do not produce any or very little carbon emissions but they are the ones paying the price. How can you let this happen? – what are you waiting for?
I keep hearing that money is needed to fix the climate change problem. So put money into it! The cost of not doing enough will be too high. You cannot put a price on the loss of children’s lives, families being torn apart and the loss of so many plant and animal species – what are you waiting for?
I don’t understand everything and don’t have the solutions or answers to solve climate change but you do! – what are you waiting for?
I do understand that countries around the world must unite on this issue. You have to work together to save children’s lives, to save animals from becoming extinct and to clean the air that we breathe. Open your hearts and your minds – what are you waiting for?
I am trying to do my best in educating school children about climate change and the environment. This is something you should be doing – what are you waiting for?
You have the technology, you have the knowhow and most importantly you still have the time – what are you waiting for?
“Habits made today will help life tomorrow”.
Originally published on www.climategirl.com.au