It is I your mother, earth. From the very beginning of time, I was created to house and nurture you and other diverse forms of life; to carter for all your needs with the noblesse obligé of ensuring consistency in the balance of life ad infinitum. You were built with a rational mind – one that supersedes that of all other creatures – for you to lead and to decipher that everything I bore existed with a divine purpose. Everything was indeed good and beautiful (at least in their own rights) as the Creator perceived. But centuries of your exploits have greatly scarred and weakened me, your once ever protective and graciously benevolent mother.
You have severely upset the natural equilibrium I established by fighting wars with nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), wasting lives, contaminating potable water sources, and rendering arable lands sterile in the process. Do you remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki? You have burnt an innumerable amount of fossil fuel all in the name of industrialization so much so that the atmosphere is saturated with chlorofluorocarbons and hydrocarbons that are choking life out of me by puncturing my protective shield (shield I possess as a sign of my maternal love to protect all my children against ultraviolet rays from the sun). Do you wonder why ground temperature-, ice cores melting-, and seawater levels are rising? Oh, I almost forgot you call it global warming. Your scientists say global ground temperature levels since 1880 increased by 2° Fahrenheit. Just imagine the cataclysmic effects this holds for your survival my children when an increase to 8° Fahrenheit is reached. I am not just talking about the lives of you humans; plants, animals and other phenomena in the natural environment that I bore are inclusive. You indiscriminately fell my “suction pipes”, trees, to satisfy your voracious appetite for establishing industries and housing, and particularly in your remote areas, to serve as fuel. It is quite interesting that plants which are supposed to suck-in your largely emitted greenhouse gases are fell to produce more greenhouse gases. Clap for yourselves. On an important note, you more than any other generation in the past, generate more wastes but you find it extremely difficult to manage/dispose them. You have turned my oceans and lands into waste disposal sites. How appalling for you and the creatures of the oceans and land.
All of these issues make my condition worse and facilitate sporadic changes in your climatic patterns. Now you are confronted with massive floodings, fiercer and stronger hurricanes, catastrophic cyclones, typhoons, and tsunamis; droughts and famines; some diseases like malaria have become more resistant to available treatment measures; deaths arising from intense heat stress and other cardiovascular and respiratory diseases; and shortage of food and malnutrition owing to distorted farming practices and low yields arising from the unpredictability of weather patterns. The worse news is that these issues will heighten in the nearest future. Trust me, you don’t want this. Different species of plant and animal lives have become extinct owing to unfavorable weather conditions. You remember the dinosaurs, yes? I don’t want the same fate for you. In fact, I cannot bear the pains of watching you die out because of the preventable consequences of your environmentally delinquent activities that have gargantuan effects on me.
I long to return to my healthy state. But you’ve got to change your activities that stifle my well-being because time is running out. You have to work hard; under a united front to tackle the various environmental menaces and heal your world; the only home your know. Never be deceived that the drastic fluctuations in your climatic patterns are superstitious or fictitious. Pique your interests, augment your curiosity with an aggressive quest for enlightenment, and act accordingly. Form nature clubs and undertake environmental sustainability outreaches to educate yourselves, particularly the younger generations, of the benefits of being conscious of, and connected to nature; reduce your emission of chlorofluorocarbons and hydrocarbons – carbon pricing can go a long way in attaining this; don’t fell trees indiscriminately, and if you must, ensure you plant its replacement(s) and carter for it (cultivate a tree-planting culture); adopt a smart waste separation technique and dispose or recycle and reuse your wastes properly; organize cleanups to remove pollutants from bodies of water and land for cleaner oceans and lands where life can thrive unabated; and develop your rural areas to stall the ever increasing rural-urban migration and explosive urban population.
My children, be ultra attentive to climate conditions. I’ll try the best I can to protect you. But I cannot do it all alone. Your support and care for the natural environment will immensely strengthen your defenses against the dire conditions that are lurking around owing to the frantic climate change issues you experience. Do not become despondent when you work to ensure environmental sustainability. Your actions whether alone or with many have ripple effects in safeguarding your survival; if you so wish to maintain that. Remember one thing, your actions now will either make or mar the sustainable future your children and generations yet unborn will love to see.
What say you to this?
Dickson David Agbaji is a Nigerian. He is a graduate of Political Science from the University of Calabar, Calabar-Nigeria; graduating as the best student in the 2016 class of Political Science graduands. Dickson is an Ambassador at Earthplus, an organization poised at initiating sustainable programs to promote environmental sustainability among children and youths, especially in Africa. He is also the Founder & CEO at RoyalKicks, a startup in the footwear making industry specialized in the use leathers and ankara for the production of hand-made sandals, shoes, and flip-flops. He is a Political Scientist, researcher, and (co-)author of a number of published academic papers.