Hiking through the red mountains of Red Rock Canyon, I take the scenic route to view nature’s finest creations. As the sun sets, I can’t help but think about how long this beautiful landscape will be here for. Due to environmental changes, places like Red Rock may not exist in due time.

Whether you believe in climate change or not, it is undeniable that Lake Mead’s water level has dropped to 1080 feet, heat waves in Las Vegas have reached a record high temperature of 117 degrees and pollution has been increasing. Climate change is no longer an issue that people can worry about tomorrow. If people want change, then actions must be made today. 

From spray-on deodorants to gas-powered cars, harming the environment is part of the daily routine. Everyday activities require energy–90 percent of that energy comes from burning fossil fuels. Seemingly harmless actions like charging your phone or turning on the television contributes to climate change. According to NASA, 95 percent of warming trends are due to human activity. By continuing these habits, the world may end up being so polluted that everything ahead would look like thick smog like it is in urban cities of China.

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Climate change and pollution alters more than just the environment, it also alters how people live. Favorite sea foods, like sushi, will no longer be safe to eat. Along with that, if shorelines continue to rise, summer vacation destinations may eventually cease to exist. And if people think affording the price of living will be easy, then their wrong. From taxes to housing, prices will increase, but people’s income will not. 

Additionally, older generations have left millennials the job of cleaning up their mistakes, as if it is our faults. Keeping stubborn attitudes and traditional values causes the environment to only worsen. People cannot keep acting as if there’s no need to reform; some traditions are not meant to be kept.

There are several ways teenagers can reform their actions in order to benefit their future. Conserving energy and water in any possible way can help make a difference:

  1. Turn off appliances when not in use.
  2. Carpool with friends or family.
  3. Only run dish and clothes washers when full.
  4. Take shorter showers.
  5. To add volunteering hours toward graduation cords, teens can help out at The Community Services of Nevada.

Besides adjusting our own routines, we can also contact our state senators about concerns with global warming. If there is enough people with similar complaints, senators may implement changes to combat pollution.

Ultimately, if the Earth continues to deteriorate, life will become strenuous. Nobody should have to be responsible for fixing problems they did not create. Climate change not only affects the future but also the present. If people want to make a difference then improvements must be made today. Instead of repeating the same mistakes older generations made, people must take it upon themselves to positively change the future.

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