Long Island and Climate Change: What Will Happen?


climate migrants
Climate change has caused an increase in “climate migrants,” who flee to escape inhospitable conditions.

(No political opinions are expressed in this article).

Long Island is certainly gorgeous, with its captivating beaches and proximity to New York City. Numerous amounts of people pay a visit to this island each and every year, and some have even decided to stay in this community due to the high level of the schools, the kindness of the residents living there, and the year-round scenery available for them at each location. Long Island is so incredible, so amazing, that we have surprisingly not thought of what would occur if this island was not so incredible, not so amazing, but alternatively… underwater. 

What? What alternate reality could I be talking about?

This reality. We need to face the facts and face the data. If we do not stop or decrease our carbon dioxide emissions, our cow farming, or any other of the multifarious reasons for anthropogenic climate change, sea levels will soon rapidly rise due to the melting glaciers. By 2080, if we do not do anything to help, many cities and islands could be submerged, including Miami and our own Long Island. The oldest students in this school as of the 2019 – 2020 school year would be 79 years old by 2080. Reaching this age is becoming increasingly likely due to improving technology and new medicines and cures. Theoretically, if all students in the Bellmore-Merrick school district were to die of old age, the entire student population would still be around by 2080.

Teachers and administrators are not completely safe either. If any teachers here have relatively young children (born after 1985), their children could potentially be alive to witness these outcomes. And if you, as a teacher, were born after or near 1985, you could as well still be alive. 

What would we do? Relocate? Become one of the many climate migrants?

It’s time for us, humanity as a whole, to face the consequences of our actions. But the science of climate change has been very apparent for thirty years. Why are our politicians and world leaders so indifferent about it? Why do they lack sympathy for the issue at hand, and only care for the problems that negatively impact them today? The answer is relatively simple. 

They will not be alive to endure the consequences. 

According to www.senate.gov, the average age of a U.S senator is 61.8 years, and of a U.S member of the House of Representatives, 57.8 years. Compared to my age, a mere thirteen years, that is old. Most of them, unless by some rare, peculiar medical miracle, will not be around by 2060, let alone 2080. They may not even need to care about the effects of climate change on our daily lives as it is now, considering according to www.msn.com, half of U.S senators are worth more than one million dollars. Their salary is not anything to laugh at either.

Our current president, Donald J. Trump, is even older than the average age of Congress. He is in his seventies. That’s older than almost everyone in my school, especially the students. 

Greta Thunberg of Sweden, the world’s teenage leading climate activist and face of the climate movement, is right. As she stated to the world leaders and politicians at the UN Climate Action Summit on 9/23/19, ”How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words!”

She is 100% correct. And when your children and your grandchildren come to you twenty, thirty, or even sixty years into the future, and ask you if you knew that they would have to suffer and deal with the consequences of climate change that you created, what will you tell them?