by Dhara Burak
You know what makes me mad about being a part of Generation Z? It’s not the current political climate. It’s not the fact that schools get shot up every day and nothing is being done to stop it but protests. No, it’s the fact that, every time I think about the realistic future, all I see is the world ending. It’s the fact that I don’t get to dream because of greenhouse gases and big oil companies and a thousand things that I don’t have time to get mad about.
Now, before you yell at me, I want to clarify that yes, I know that other generations went through tons of hardships, too. I know that many of them didn’t get to dream because they just happened to be growing up during the Great Depression or one of the World Wars or something just as traumatic. But at least they had a future. No matter how horrible or depressing or difficult, they had a future. They had a future family, future kids, a future home. I have a future apocalypse. I have a future cold, desolate, lifeless Earth that’s too far gone for fixing. I have a future lonely, sad life without all the things we took for granted. Like clean air. Like the outside. Like hope.
I also know that it’s not previous generations’ faults, or at least not completely. While big oil companies did know about the future effects of what they were doing, they kept this information from the public. So even if past generations did play a part in climate change, most of them didn’t realize what they were doing. But now they do, or at least they should—the evidence is irrefutable. There’s no saying “Yes, they contribute to climate change, but it’s not their fault – they don’t know!” at this point. They’re either in denial or refuse to accept the consequences of their actions.
I try not to get mad or depressed about things like this, but it’s hard when it feels like the world is gonna end in a few years and there’s nothing I can do about it. Sorry, did I say feels like? I meant is. Because none of this is a hoax, or a theory, or a lie. These are just facts. No matter what they think the cause is or how to stop it, all climate scientists agree: climate change is real, and the consequences are about to hit us hard – and I just happen to be a kid at exactly the time when those consequences are gonna hit.
And even if you’re arrogant enough to disagree with a climate scientist, you can just take a look outside. Besides the obvious, current, and immensely destroying effects like the increase in wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, I guarantee that if you look outside right now, the weather doesn’t match the season at all.
So excuse me if I sometimes get a little mad at earlier generations, or depressed about things like not having snow ‘til March. It’s just that it’s hard not to when I’m not allowed to dream because the world is gonna end in a few years.
Hi, I’m Dhara Burak, and I love writing! I’m 14 and am in my
first year of high school. I usually write poetry, but I wrote
this piece for the 2019 Climate Strike rally in Bethlehem.
I hope you like it, and that you stay safe and well!