Recently, it seems as if Earth has experienced natural disasters of all kinds. With wildfires in the Amazon rainforest, Australia, and California, hurricanes Dorian and Humberto, and a destructive tornado in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, our planet has shown the chaos already caused by climate change. As climate change further increases, it can cause different surges of extremely powerful and threatening natural disasters, which explains what we have been witnessing these past few weeks. These various disasters have taken the homes, possessions, and lives of many, which provides further motivation for activists around the world to continue fighting for climate justice.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
CNN reports that this past summer, Alaska witnessed record breaking temperatures and notable changes to their environment. An increased amount of fires were burning which caused a heavy presence of smoke in the air, glaciers were melting, salmon dying, and smaller changes such as toxic algae blooming in the Bering Sea also took place. On the fourth of July, Anchorage, Alaska reached 90 degrees fahrenheit, making it warmer than Key West, Florida on that day. According to climate scientist Brian Brettschneider, eight of Alaska’s 13 hottest days have been this past year; a red flag for scientists and citizens alike. The way of life and culture for indigineous residents in Alaska are also at risk with the rising temperatures. I would like to think that the people of Alaska have always been accustomed to the colder temperatures and environment within their state--it has always been a key part of the region--something that seems impossible to change. On top of the rising temperatures, Alaska is also at risk to have its “crown jewel of national forest system”, Tongass National Forest, bulldozed in areas that would be used for activities such as logging, mining, hydropower, and more. Tongass holds so much carbon that it’s known as “America’s Amazon”. The wilderness featured there hosts an abundance of different animal species that live adjacent to the population of 70,000 people. This proposition of using the National Forest for purposes other than admiring the featured nature, is supported by President Trump and Alaskan Senator Dan Sullivan, as well as Governor of Alaska, Mike Dunleavy. Although the future for Tongass is unclear, activism to further encourage lawmakers to make ethical decisions regarding climate change must continue to happen. Our youth and our environment deserve a future, after all.