ESSAY: “ON OUR BURNING HOME”

This is the first in a series of essays: “A QUESTIONABLE FUTURE – TENNESSEE HIGH SCHOOLERS TALK CLIMATE”

Srihita Adabala is 16 years old, attends Ravenwood High School, and part of The Sunrise Movement – Franklin “building an army of young people to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process” – contact them: sunrisefranklintn@gmail.com 

“ON OUR BURNING HOME”

We are brought up in the ethic that this will be our forever home, plentiful with resources for days on end. In retrospect, that is no longer the case.

As Greta Thunberg would say, our house is on fire, burning with such insanity. The flames burn deep red and amber, almost livid purple in some angles. One could even say that iconic description fits close to the Aurora borealis—I have always wanted to visit it. The ribbon of color dancing in space between the stars displays the Earth’s natural beauty, relieved of any human legacy.

Will I ever see it? Maybe. Maybe not. In all honesty, I have lost the true conviction that I will ever see the Aurora borealis due to my actions. Our actions. 

Growing up, the only footprint I was fond of was the one I could make in the mud after a light shower. As the rainfall conjured a sweet pattern upon my skin, I had no concerns regarding what would happen to our planet in ten years.

Now, the only footprint I am fond of is my ecological footprint, how my actions exert influence on this Earth. Each step I take adds a layer of anxiety that cannot be reversed. Each moment we deprive our environment without giving back is a step closer to irreparable consequences. 

It has been 30 years and still being fixated on this issue could be considered ludicrous to some; however, the term “climate crisis” has expanded to cover phenomena we used to only dream about. With this being said, I can no longer appreciate the portrait of the Atlantic coastline in our living room without thinking about sea levels rising, flooding millions of homes.

I can no longer embrace the stuffed polar bear from my childhood years without picturing the majestic creature struggling to hunt because of thin ice.

I can no longer drive to school without quantizing how much emissions are produced worldwide as people embark on their respective journeys. In the past, we took these daily reminders and actions for granted, to the point we can no longer enjoy them without devastating repercussions.

This is my call for action.

I want change. I demand change.

If we want to sustain our home, we must become aware of the evident issue and take conscious steps for action. We must demand changes in public policy and pressure large corporations to instill environmentally-aware methods.

If you would rather sit still through this fire, surrounded by the smoldering flames and the thick acrid stench of smoke, so be it. But I will not. I want my children to experience the clumps of wet flakes drifting windlessly down on a bitterly cool December morning.

In a similar fashion, I want my children to experience heat rain down on them like the breath of hell on a bright June afternoon.

I want my children to experience everything this planet can naturally offer.

You may not see the direct culmination of the climate crisis right now, but you will in the coming years. In the end, this will impact my generation, the one after me, and so forth.

So please, save my home. Save our home. 

 

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