By Acadia Tucker

Written on 9/24/2020

Tomorrow is the 2nd annual global climate change strike. And yet again I am forced to stay behind and watch everyone else take to the streets.

I am afraid that this global demonstration will have about as much effect as the Black Lives Matter protests. We will be heard. We will spread the word. And once again we will still be ignored. It is frustrating to a level beyond normal bounds. 

The sad truth is that the climate crisis isn’t something that can be ignored forever. The longer people pretend climate change isn’t happening in their backyard, the more danger we create, not only for ourselves, but for everyone and everything else in too. 

We can’t afford to sit by any longer. 

We have to take radical, drastic action now!

But it isn’t going to be done. Not until we all collectively get off our butts and discard our comfort. Like Greta Thunberg said, we are “all climate change deniers” and we are all “acting like spoiled children!”

These comforts have been force-fed down our throats and we let it happen. 

But now is the time that we must start to struggle in earnest. Now is the time we throw those corporate hands off of us and demand change. 

Our will must be unbreakable. Our determination must never falter. 

And…and…*sigh* and by the time that happens it’s going to be too late. Too much damage will have been done. And Generation Z and all generations following will be condemned to life of hell. 

To everyone who is pretending climate change isn’t happening in order to make themselves feel better, including my mother, I just want to scream, “Look at what you’ve done! Look at what is happening!”

But they never will. Not until it kicks them in the balls. 

People wonder why, after nearly 10 years of fighting, I am still depressed. 

All I can do in response is a weak gesture to the rest of the world. The world you have given is us, you being prior generations and us being Gen Z and all future generations, is about to implode. 

You know, I celebrated my 18th birthday not too long ago. And on that day, I felt the same thing that I have felt every year on my birthday since I was about 6 years old. The primary feeling was not joy, but shock. I was shocked that I had lived long enough to see that birthday. 

I was shocked because, even from a very young age I knew that the world was screwed. I knew I would see at least the beginning of its destruction in my lifetime. 

Not only that, but I also half-expected to be shot before I turned 18, what with all of the school shootings and bombings that have happened in my country. After all, a few of them were not far from where I live. 

I was born 12 days before the first anniversary of 9/11. I grew up in a world where I have not felt the same right to life that my ancestors did. 

Like everyone else in my generation, I have grown up in a terrifying world. All of us kids grew up fearing for our lives because we knew that we were doomed. 

We don’t flinch when we see war scenes on TV! 

We don’t flinch when we hear that our best friend wants to kill themselves! Our response is probably “ya me too.” 

To all the previous generations, you wonder why we joke about death so often. You wonder why we laugh at memes all day. 

It’s because we know the truth, and we have known the truth for pretty much our entire lives. 

We are not afraid of death. 

Instead we stare it in the face, silently challenging it to come and get us. That part is evident in the way that we have faced the police in the Black Lives Matter protests. The only reason we even care about our deaths is because of how it will affect everyone around us. 

So all in all, I just want to say congratulations for giving the generation who doesn’t care about death, who has grown up with stories like The Hunger Games, something to fight for. 

We know it looks bleak. We know that the odds are against us. But we will continue to fight. Because if we give up now, then we only have ourselves to blame. 

Change is coming. But is it going to be the change that saves us? Or the change that destroys us? 

It’s all on us. 

Acadia Tucker is an 18-year-old college student who has been passionate about helping the environment for the past several years. She plans to major in environmental and sustainability studies.