Hello! I’m Earth, and unless you’re an alien that’s somehow managed to get really good wifi, I’m probably your home. And this year, I’ve changed... a lot. I’d like to take a minute to reflect on my best and worst times of 2017 as 2018 draws closer.
January: I had my third warmest January on record in 137 years. (I’m getting really hot and not in the good way). As a happy note however, Dandilyonn hosted their second art party at Gurukul Academy and I got to watch with my own eyes as the next generation of climate change fighters were born!
February: My good friend Isabella Lovin, Sweden’s deputy prime minister, announced a bill (with an all-female photo if I might add) to become carbon neutral by 2045, which passed in June. It’s ambitious and I love it.
March: Some bad news for me this month :( The Keystone pipeline was approved, but I’ll spare you the details as my friends at Dandilyonn have already talked about this disastrous plan before. Additionally, the government of Maldives, a beautiful country with even more beautiful reefs approved more projects under its “transformative economic agenda”, destroying more of their coral reefs. 80% - 90% of the reefs are no longer living.
April: Unlike March, April was a good month for me and my friends here at Dandilyonn. They were featured on Oroola, a blog showcasing youth making a difference, held a booth at Adobe’s Earth Day fair, and hosted their first ever walkathon. Through that, they donated $1200 to Climate Reality Project. If you ever have anything to spare, you should consider donating it toward the environment as well. It would make me happy, which in turn would make you happy! I’ll make sure your vegetable garden grows twice as well next year! On a global scale, UK had its first coal-free work day since pre-industrial times, which was very exciting.
May: The United States government wasn’t feeling too keen on protecting their country or their planet this month. The EPA’s main climate change website went blank, saying it was “undergoing changes” to better reflect their “new direction”. I wish their direction was to help us out a bit for the sake of our future generations. However, the next day, on the 100-day mark of the Trump administration, 15,000 people gathered in front of the White House to protest this inaction. Go citizens!
June: June was a busy month for local, national, and international climate change news. Dandilyonn was featured in Tri City Voice, and on the back cover too! While locally we were doing great, this month brought the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement; although not officially, it still signified a huge step back in the fight against my sickness, climate change. However on the other side of the world, the climate change fight was just getting started. While many women in Nepal face cultural taboos, 23 of them formed an NGO called Empower Generation, to make their own solar panels. Because of their role in promoting women involvement in the clean energy sector, they were awarded a £20,000 Ashden award.
July: It felt as if I had gotten a giant cut on the bottom of my foot. The growing rift across one of the Antarctica Peninsula’s largest ice shelves finally broke, creating the Larsen C iceberg. It’s so big it’s hard to imagine: it weighs a trillion tons and is measured at 2,240-square miles, equivalent to the size of Delaware! Now as it floats away, it will start melting, made even faster because of climate change. We need to step up our game!
August: August was another busy month for me. Dandilyonn was invited to host a STEAM booth by the Fremont Cultural Arts Council at their Art in the Park event and it went amazingly well. But worldwide, some not so amazing things were happening. By this time, only 10 of the 18 glaciers that once covered Mt Kenya’s summit now remained and 90% of the largest one, the Lewis Glacier, had melted. In the Arctic, a gas tanker crossed for the first time without an icebreaker. While it did so in record time, it showed the deadly effects of climate change and melting ice caps.
September: Dandilyonn turned two years old! A young tropical storm also rapidly turned into Hurricane Harvey, costing billions of dollars in damage and affecting around 13 million people. (Dandilyonn wrote an article on how climate change affects hurricanes too.) While it was dreadful for me to watch, it inspired people to rally together, giving me hope that they could do the same in the fight against climate change!
October: My friends in California suffered quite a bit this month. Unfortunately because of my sickness, perfect conditions for fires existed. The weather was unusually warm, rain was little, and the dry Santa Ana winds spread fires easily. In October, the Napa fires killed 22 people and damaged more than 5,600 buildings.
November: This month’s news can be both positive and negative. Negative in the sense that as time goes on, more climate refugees will be in need of new homes. But positive because New Zealand’s new government planned in November to create the world’s first humanitarian visa for these people. I hope to see more countries establishing these in their own countries!
December: So the last month of 2017 rolled around, and with it some more bad news. In the last two years, we’ve lost 493,716 square kilometres worth of trees, a size of around four Englands. This means even more carbon emissions released over time. And while this isn’t the most exciting news, I’d like to end the year on a happy note. Because, all hope isn’t lost yet and the fight is definitely not over. So please, join me and my friends at Dandilyonn to ensure that your home will not be lost to the deadly climate change. My sickness can be cured and it’s all up to you.