Taiwan youth views: what would you tell world leaders at COP21 about climate change?

Taiwan youth views: what would you tell world leaders at COP21 about climate change?

Young Post, and six other youth publications from around the world, asked readers to answer two questions about environmental issues. Here are their responses.

The questions we asked:

1 If you could give a speech to the world leaders at COP 21, what would you say?
2 What do you usually do to help the environment?

Ian Chao, 8, Min Quan Primary School, Taipei City

Photo: Ian Chao

1 Not long ago, my mother showed me a picture on the internet. It was a picture of a polar bear standing on an Arctic floe. What once was supposed to be a chubby polar bear has now become skinny and bony due to the lack of food! I was not only upset upon seeing the picture, but a sense of guilt washed over me at the same time. It was the carelessness of our humans toward Mother Earth that left animals with nothing to eat!

I hope that presidents from countries all around the world can take a look at this picture and try to put their feet into the shoes of these animals to feel their pain. Humans are not the only ones suffering from global warming, and so are all the living creatures on Earth.

Please don’t harm the planet for making money. Please bend your head down and look at us children, kneel down and look into our eyes, and tell us firmly and sincerely, “Kids, we will no longer destroy our Earth.” After all, we children and the vulnerable animals will be the ones to undertake the consequences of the damages to Earth.

2 In one of the picture books that I have read, I learned that raising beef cattle will also worsen global warming. The methane in the cattle’s farts is one of the reasons that contribute to the rise in Earth’s temperature. Personally, I have always disliked eating 

meat. Whenever I pass by the meat stalls at the market, I often turn my head away to avoid seeing them. In addition to eating less beef to reduce methane emissions, I will bike to school more often rather than ride my father’s car.

Wang Hao-Syuan, 14, Sanzhi Junior High School, New Taipei City

Photo: Wang Hao-syuan

1 Honorable leaders and distinguished guests. My name is Wang Hao-Syuan from Taiwan. Global warming is becoming an increasingly serious problem, and it brings along with the abrupt climate change. Meanwhile, we live blindly in prosperity, ignoring the warning from our mother nature.

In past days, my home town was blessed with abundant rainfalls, with more than two hundred rainy days in a year, but the number is gradually dropping in recent years. The situations before and now are entirely different.

The problems of greenhouse effect and global warming are closely related to our daily life. Factories are producing enormous industrial waste gas, and humans are consuming excessive fossil fuel, causing the relentless rise of the carbon dioxide level. Such environmental problems will worsen if we continue to only care about the economy. 

How can we develop the economy and protect the environment at the same time? This is the question we have to ponder on. 

We hope that the government could put more emphases on more environmental assessments of air and water. Also, the government could encourage citizens to use products of “cleaner production,” so we could minimize the harm on the environment. 

In addition, the authority is obliged to foster good practice on disseminating the issue of environment protection. If we don't put that into practice, the environment will be faced with more severe hazards. Thus, I ask to conclude the “Paris Agreement” to save our only homeland.

2 I will bring tableware with me to avoid the chance of using disposable ones. The process of making disposable tableware comes with a shocking amount of carbon dioxide, and it also brings down lots of trees and bamboos, leading to environment pollution. 

Therefore, I will try my best to bring my own tableware whenever I eat out, since it is more hygienic and healthier, and I can also carry out the concept of environment protection. So why not shoot many birds with only one stone?

Mina Tu, 16, Wun Shan Senior High School, Kaohsiung City 

Photo: Mina Tu

Everyone is a gambler. We risk our future with Earth, and hope is our only bargain. We inherit the world from the generations before us, and when we pass the world down to our children, will our children receive a bright era with hope, or a dark age filled with despair? 

The current situations are: lack of cooperation among nations, indifference of the crowd, and over-emphasis on financial growth by the enterprises. When Mother Nature runs dry due to exploitation, economic success cannot atone for the welfare we’ve lost. 

The failure of Copenhagen Summit should not be repeated, the lack of enforcement of Kyoto Protocol should not be recommitted. How come agreements were signed, yet not implemented? How come nations have unlimited carbon emission in the name of not being restricted by the treaty? How come developing countries agree to carry out the pact only after the developed countries had done so? Why should we treat the world shared by us like this?

No one is willing to witness the ending of the disastrous movie 2012 coming true, where the world is demolished. All creations stand on the same ground, all share the resources, and all possess the right the live. 

The dice is not yet thrown, and the situation still can be reversed. If collaboration among countries can be established, the spark of hope will grow into flare, and we will see our homeland clean again. Now, hope is in your hands. 

2 I carry water bottle and reusable tableware. Turning off the light, fan and unplugging become my habit. I avoid reading paper documents if I have electronic ones. I take the public transportation and reduce energy consumption whenever I can. Many a little makes a mickle. The rate of global warming will surely decrease if the public are willing to care for the environment.


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