Protecting Polar Bears for Kay’s FutureThe hand-written letter was from an 8-year-old 2nd grader. I’ll call her Kay. She told me that she saw my YouTube video about the problems global warming is causing for polar bears. She was “angry” and “sad” and said that she knew to turn off lights to conserve energy, but it wasn’t enough…what more could she do, with her “big voice,” she asked. She signed off as “Your polar bear friend.”
Her written words were passionate, and the drawing she enclosed obviously heart-felt. Carefully sketched were two sad polar bears sitting on very small ice floes; both bears were crying. In the corner she drew a diagram of the sun shining on the earth to depict global warming, with a label pointing to the Arctic where polar bears live.
Kay’s letter touched my heart. And just like she was feeling, it made me both sad and angry.
Sad, because the reality is, beyond even a shadow of scientific doubt, global warming driven by the excessive burning of fossil fuels will forever change the planet and the life it supports, unless we take real and significant action immediately. Angry because politicians continue to play reckless and dangerous political games with Kay’s future and, in fact, the future well-being of every child.
Reckless Indifference or Responsible Action?
Providing our children a future with polar bears, a healthy environment and a safe place to live should not be a mere political game. It’s a deep responsibility, incumbent upon all of us to take meaningful and effective action, regardless of political persuasion.
Tragically, organizations like the Heartland Institute continue to feed the fires of climate change controversy despite the overwhelming scientific evidence, with reckless indifference to the future well-being of Kay and millions of children just like her. Congress continues to duck the global warming issue, failing to take any significant action to curb global warming pollution. Even worse, lawmakers continue to try and stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions, even though the Supreme Court has ruled that under the Clean Air Act the EPA clearly has the authority to do so.
Unable to see beyond the next election, politicians are gambling away Kay’s future, all the while fixing the odds in their own favor for short-term political winnings.
I wrote back to Kay, encouraging her to keep learning about global warming and to tell her friends about the trouble polar bears are in and why. I told her that some of them, like her, would also want to take action to help solve the problem. I believe we actually can save polar bears and lots of other wildlife that are affected by global warming. Kay’s “big voice” combined with others is necessary to win a brighter future for children like her.
Not a week later, Kay wrote back to me. She is working on a day where her schoolmates will ride their bikes and walk to school in lieu of motorized transportation…she calls it the “Polar bear shuffle.” Kay is taking action. Meanwhile, our elected officials continue to stall, duck and even deny the issue.
If an eight-year-old girl can step forward to invest in her own future, is it too much to ask our politicians to truly invest in every child’s future by taking action to curb global warming now?
Let’s not gamble Kay’s future away, and instead protect wildlife for her and future generations.
Here’s how you can help Kay:
- Send a message to the EPA in support of limiting carbon pollution from coal-burning power plants >>
- Find out how you can conserve energy and reduce your carbon footprint >>
- Learn about NWF’s Eco-Schools USA program, which helps schools green their facilities and curriculum >>