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Our week-long Youth Write for Climate campaign ended yesterday with submissions from 23 countries across 5 continents! Here is a word cloud created from all posts.

See. Now. Water. City. CLIMATE CHANGE. people. school.

Read snippets of the most compelling stories from each continent:

North America: 

“California is known for its clear skies, beautiful beaches, and acres of national park forests. With climate change affecting California’s vibrant ecological benefits, we are facing major risks to infrastructure and natural resources. The threat of increasing risks towards drought are causing limits on water usage.
During the later years of California’s 2011-2017 drought we had limits on the amount of water that was available for use on lawns and gardens. It was mandatory to request water at restaurants, and public areas had to limit water use in places like fountains. The US Forest Service stated that 102 million trees died in total due to drought conditions.” 

– Martin Holmes, 17 | California, USA

“Since I was little, I enjoyed wading in oceans/lakes, but I may not be able to do this in the future. Spurred by unsustainable fertilizer use and the conversion of wetlands preserves for agriculture, nutrient levels in water are rapidly increasing. This eutrophication causes bodies of water to be unsafe for humans, toxic for plants, and lethal for aquatic wildlife. Nutrient pollution is slowly destroying the very identity of Florida, and we can’t just stand by and watch it happen.”

– Kavya Shah, 18 | Florida, USA 

South America: 

“Coming from Brazil, I was constantly bombarded by my country’s natural resources existence (and abundance). We had everything you could name – oceans, rainforests, canyons; the general consensus was that since we had a lot of it all, we were immune to environmental issues. Sadly, that isn’t true. Even having plenty of natural resources, human mismanagement and exploitation makes it difficult for me to foresee my children playing with the same trees I did. It is up to me and my generation to raise awareness and making sustainable decisions in order to change this devastation cycle.”

– Julia Vilela, 17 | Belo Horizonte, Brazil 

Africa:

“Climate has definitely changed. Things are not like they used to be. For example, a few years back we knew that during this time of autumn everyone would be rejoicing for the good harvest through our tradition ceremony of ‘Dikgafela.’ Unfortunately our crops have died due to lack of rainfall and extreme heat. Hardly a day passes without extreme heat. This is our new lifestyle which we find difficult to get used to. Our livestock is starving to death because there is no grass for them to graze on. The ground is bare.”

Solofelang Kim Botsang, 16 | Mokobeng, Botswana 

Europe:

“We make a living by agriculture on our farm in Southwest Hungary. Therefore, we have firsthand experience of climate change.
For example, two years ago most of our corn was so badly hit by a heat wave that there was barely anything to harvest. Last year, March was unusually warm but then there were several freezing days in April so most of the flowers in our apricot and cherry plantations froze and dropped so the harvest was almost non-existant.” 

– Márk Mészárik, 17 | Telki, Hungary

“But the last few years. we’d be lucky to have it snow anytime before December; to make matters worse, our winters aren’t so much a winter wonderland anymore as they’re a sad muddy picture where it actually only snows properly once or twice a week and the rest of the time everything melts into brown slosh.”

– Christo Simov, 19 | Sofia, Bulgaria 

Asia: 

“Growing up in Thailand, I have seen floods and droughts, water pollutions and air pollutions, earthquakes and a tsunami. Thailand experiences an annual cycle of floods and droughts, each year more extreme than the last. Yet, every year, we see our governments and our leaders doing nothing. We hear them say ‘things are under control’ and ‘there is nothing we can do’ so often we become deaf to those words.”

– Araya Sornwanee, 20 | Bangkok, Thailand 

 

We will be featuring the best three writers and the entirety of their stories on our website soon. Stay tuned!

About Mai Hoang

Mai is an environmental writer from Vietnam, writing on climate change and environmental issues in her country. She is an online journalism fellow for Climate Tracker and tweets from @mai_nhoang.