Opinion: Silent cries for climate change


Credit: Alyssa Ao

WSPN’s Talia Macchi and Selena Liu discuss living through the repercussions of climate change, and they share their worries.

Talia Macchi and Selena Liu

New England is notorious for its wacky weather, especially during the transitional seasons of spring and fall. As residents of Massachusetts, we are used to frigid temperatures as soon as October rolls around. However, this autumn in the Northeast, the unbalanced temperatures are unprecedented, with days fluctuating between frostbite-inducing temperatures and sticky, humid conditions.

Although we adore the warm sunshine in December, we should not be fans of this unusual climate. December shouldn’t remind us of jumping in the ocean, getting ice cream and sun bathing. The fall and winter months in New England should signify cranking up the heat on the thermostat, drinking hot cocoa and hanging up holiday lights.

On Nov. 6, 2022, Boston hit a record high temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. This weather is frustrating towards our seasonal routines as well as extremely worrisome for our fateful futures. What does this rising temperature mean for us? What does it mean for the next generation?

It’s incredibly scary and overwhelming to feel that climate change and its devastating effects are out of our control. So much irreversible damage has already been done. Years of damage sometimes cannot be fixed with the passage of time, but what change can two 16-year-olds even make?

The sad, but true answer to that is next to nothing. Our helplessness is extremely aggravating as we are trying our best to heal our dying world: walking and carpooling when we can, recycling instead of throwing things straight into the garbage and thrifting instead of purchasing new clothes.

Are these small changes even doing anything? It doesn’t feel like it. We feel hopeless.

Electricity plays a vital role in many aspects of our lives, as we drive cars and flick on light switches. Human activity ultimately leads to drastic fluctuations in the weather.

Remember Hurricane Ian? That devastating natural disaster was the culmination of the rising amount of greenhouse gasses in the air. The earth’s land and seas are getting warmer due to this direct emission of toxic gas, creating dangerous weather, like hurricanes.

What about the ongoing California wildfires? The catastrophic fires were due to factors like  higher temperatures, a drier atmosphere and a prolonged period of drought.

Most people dismiss the truth of how much damage they have done, and they continue to inflict damage to Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. Celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Taylor Swift have multiple private jets, which they frequently utilize for extremely short rides, like Jenner’s infamous 17 minute flight. In 2022, Swift emitted 8,294 tons of carbon dioxide with her private jet alone. As teenagers of the 21st century, we are living through the consequences of the carelessness and disregard of our predecessors and ignorant people of our day.

The factual evidence science provides us with is daunting. According to NOAA’s 2021 Annual Climate Report, there has been a 0.32 average yearly temperature increase since 1981. Think about the buildup after 100 years, that’s a 35 degree increase. In the next few summers, will it still be safe go outside?

On Nov. 15, the world population hit eight billion people, and it’s only increasing. A greater population leads to a higher consumption of resources such as food, water, air, land waste products and fossil fuels. Companies use a great amount of energy to create many consumer goods, yet a ridiculous amount of such goods are wasted. This wreaks havoc our country, our environment and our home.

As we grow into young adults, we are wrecked with the truths and reality of our warming home. Animals are becoming extinct, lands are shrinking and people are dying. Something must change.

We are scared. We don’t know what to do. We don’t know how to help this depleting planet, which we call our home. When the temperature hit 76 degrees on that fateful November day a few weeks ago, our eyes opened. Our planet is changing for the worse, and all we can do is watch. We are bystanders to the struggling fight against climate change, yet we can’t control either side of the battle.