Opinion: Vote for climate representation

May 2, 2024

We are in a planetary climate crisis.

If it were World War II, each neighborhood would be mobilized, sacrificing for our troops overseas. But this is not a finite war. It’s an immediate, endless and intensifying battle that presents unimaginable, inescapable consequences.

Nature that supports our existence is crashing under our existence, losing its resilience. We are destroying our forest air and water filter, our wetlands and our farmland to create more energy for our appetite. Even as we self harm. 

Today’s children, Gen Z, born between 1995 and 2015 have lived all their lives in the growing climate crisis, watching social denial turn to observable, quantified global facts. They experience increased depression, anxiety, fear from gun violence, war, food scarcity, displacement, the pandemic and inadequate nutritious food. They need climate representation. 

In Montana, 5 to 23-year-olds won their suit against the state for securing their health, safety and welfare by environmental safeguarding. One young litigant put it this way: “You know it’s scary seeing what you care about disappear before your eyes.”

How did children in their new Wareham school feel watching the beautiful surrounding forest disappear before their eyes? 

Currently the Wareham Redevelopment Authority and Select board tell any citizens present they cannot speak to any issue on the agenda, except the week prior or after. What does that mean in today’s fight for free, interactive thinkers needed for climate crisis solutions? We need leaders to face the hardest truths and develop resilient paths of courage, skills and collective work that say we are still writing our own story- the stories of our youth. 

Vote their representation.

Annie Hayes