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The PENNANT Online

The Student News Site of Elkhart High School

The PENNANT Online

The Student News Site of Elkhart High School

The PENNANT Online

January Weather Should Not Put A Freeze On Climate Action


I hate snow. I absolutely hate it. The falling snow plowing against my face, my fat purple puffer coat that STILL doesn’t protect me from the freezing cold, and the many times I’ve found myself falling on snow on the way to the bus are all sources of annoyance to me. 

But, this last December, I found myself missing that very snow I’ve always despised. The absence of those familiar white flakes made the world seem…unfamiliar, almost surreal. I mean, how was December–the month that practically epitomized the winter holidays–lacking in snow? 

I missed the sight of snowflakes gently covering the streets, transforming everything into a winter wonderland. I missed the way Christmas decorations would stand out against the pristine snow, creating that festive atmosphere. I even missed the annoyance of having to walk to the bus on a road covered in slippery snow. 

Instead, what greeted me this December was a dry, barren landscape–a reminder of the changes our planet is undergoing.

I want to preface this by saying that I am not an environmentalist or a particularly strong advocate for climate change. To be honest, I have never attended any sort of convention like the Confront the Climate Crisis held in Indianapolis this Tuesday (Jan. 16) But…What I am, is someone who cares. And, sometimes, that’s all it takes to ignite change.

And, as someone who cares, I can’t help but think about the future generations. The reality that winter–once spanning from late November to early March is now beginning to be confined to just January and February–is alarming. If this trend continues, our winters could become a mere blip in the year, and the globe will only get hotter.

It’s not just the shortened winters that concern me, either. It’s the rising sea levels that threaten to engulf coastal cities, displacing millions of people. It’s the coral reefs, vibrant ecosystems teeming with life, now bleaching and dying due to the warming ocean waters. It’s the species facing extinction because their habitats are being destroyed at an alarming rate. 

These changes are not distant threats; they are happening here and now. The rising sea levels, the dying coral reefs, the species facing extinction—these are not just overly sensationalized headlines; they are realities that demand our attention and action. Each of these issues paints a broader picture of a planet under stress, a world that’s changing more rapidly than many of us ever imagined.

As a child, I knew of the term “climate change,” but I dismissed it, thinking of it as a distant problem for future generations. However, I’ve come to realize that indifference is a luxury we can no longer afford. Climate change is not just an environmentalist’s battle; it is a human crisis that is affecting us everyday. It affects every aspect of our lives–from the food we eat, to the air we breathe, to the homes we live in.

We must understand that our actions, or inactions, have consequences. Reducing our carbon footprint, supporting sustainable practices, and demanding action from our leaders are no longer optional activities for the few. They are necessities for all of us. Every small step we take towards sustainability contributes to a larger change, a change that is urgently needed.

I stand today, not as a converted environmentalist, but as a concerned individual who recognizes the need for change. It’s time for each of us, regardless of our background or beliefs about climate change, to take responsibility. It’s not just about missing the snow or fearing the heat; it’s about securing a livable, thriving planet for future generations.

Let’s not wait until it’s too late to appreciate what we have. Let’s not let our children wonder why we didn’t act when we had the chance. This is our moment to make a difference, to be the change we want to see in the world. Let’s embrace this challenge with determination and hope, knowing that, together, we can make a significant impact.

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About the Contributor
Dania Razaq
Dania Razaq, Staff Writer
Hi! I'm Dania Razaq. Even though I am now a senior, this is my first year to be on The PENNANT staff. However, I love to use my communication skills to share information with my peers, so this is just a natural extension of that! One of my other passions is being a part of the Speech Team, which also provides me with a platform to connect with others about topics of importance. As you read my articles, I hope that you will share my enthusiasm!

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    India LoechingerJan 18, 2024 at 9:02 am

    Touching and beautiful. I love to see it.

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    Shikhar SehgalJan 18, 2024 at 8:42 am