OpEd: Climate change is silently killing us Every. Single. Day.

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I knew even before attending that this event was going to stir up much of Manchester and the surrounding towns.

I knew that we as a community, as a nation, and as a planet would be widely opposed to the destruction of our natural world, the mistreatment of this Earth that has caused nearly irreversible damage to our planet.

They say that in a very short time it WILL be irreversible. Some say months, some years, and some already believe we are too late.

I will not be the one to tell you that it is too late to change, too late to rally, too late to influence our government.

What I will say is that it is far too early. Far too early to lose hope! Far too early to stop fighting, to stop petitioning, to stop doing everything we can to get the government and large corporations to understand that what they are doing affects every single person alive.

Climate change is not going to start killing us in X amount of years. Climate change is silently killing us Every. Single. Day.

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My father was the victim of a tick bite. He had already survived stage four kidney cancer and come out kicking 10 years before. But the summer before my freshman year, he got bit by a tick and contracted Lyme Disease and Anaplasmosis, which led to him getting AFib and dying from a massive pulmonary embolism.

Why do I mention this? Because years ago, tick born illnesses like anaplasmosis were not common occurrences in America. Global warming is causing these illnesses to spread to a wider geographic distribution, and have more dramatic impacts on its victims.

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While Lyme's disease is serious enough as it is, illnesses like babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can cause serious illness and lead to other fatal secondary opportunistic infections. In many cases, patients bitten by a tick carrying anaplasmosis have a co-infection with Lyme Disease or babesiosis from the same tick, and the percentages of American people diagnosed with babesiosis, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Erhiclosis have all tripled since 1988. Most of these diseases were not even truly present until the late '90s.

So, with so much risk, and so many direct effects and side effects from global warming, instead of being pinned against each other for using straws or for taking showers for too long, how about we point our anger and action towards the huge companies pouring pollution into our oceans, letting the air around them fill with smog and greenhouse gases.

Yes, lowering your personal carbon footprint is a good idea, but the responsibility for these dramatic changes to our planet do not fall on the shoulders of the working class! They fall on the shoulders of billion dollar companies, mass producing meat and plastic products that we buy!

If you want to change your way of life for our environment, instead of buying metal straws, focus on boycotting these companies and brands that make the most money through the means of destroying the planet and then profiting off of our needs! Focus on spreading the word about what specific companies are benefiting off of the shortening of our lives and creating the impossible futures for us and the generations after us to lead!

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Companies that engage in factory farming of livestock that produce huge and unnatural amounts of methane. Petition the governments of the world to keep companies like BP, ExxonMobile, Shell, and Chevron in check!

Their huge oil rigs produce more to greenhouse gas emissions than any other companies! They are at risk in the next decade of spending over 2 trillion dollars pursuing oil, coal and gas projects that will be absolutely useless in the face of a dying planet!

We must move towards renewable energies as a society, invest in solar and electric cars if you have the means.

We all depend on our ability to come together as a collective, to realize this issue is not political, and to stand against companies that slowly take our lives every day.

Kaia Hansen is a junior at Burr and Burton Academy.


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