Dear Humanity, Love Earth

Dear Humanity, 

I address you as humanity -- rather than people, humans, or human kind -- because I want you to remember the most basic characteristic that makes you human: Your humanity. I am writing to implore you to help me, to help yourselves. I am dying, and not to make myself seem too self-important, but you kind of need me. I have tried to provide a comfortable, safe home for you for quite a while now, and I'm really not feeling the love in return. And to be honest, to quote some man named Nelly, "It's getting hot in here!" 

I am so proud of everything you have accomplished and the beautiful socities that have flourished on my crust, but I am afraid you have neglected me for too long. Like the witch in that lovely movie, I am melting, and you are the only ones who can save me. There are a great many scientists who are looking out for me, who keep trying to tell you the dire situation that this vulnerable blue planet is in. In the last century, human activity has caused carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to increase at an alarming rate. My temperature is climbling, my sea levels are rising because my ice sheets are shrinking, my oceans are heating up, and my time is running out. 

I don't mean to depress you, but it's time we got real with each other. I love y'all, but there are simply too many of you! Your overpopulation is killing me! There are too many people inhabiting me and not enough resources to serve all of you. I wish I could help more, but there is only so much I have to give. It is up to you to find new ways to work with what I have to offer. 

You have created a series of post-apocalyptic, dystopian novels and movies where aliens come in and try to exterminate humans in order to take me for themselves. While some of these stories are quite entertaining, they claim that humans would never treat another species this way. When in fact, humans have been doing it for centuries. The Great Barrier Reef. The West African Black Rhinoceros. The Caribbean Monk Seal. The Tasmanian Tiger. The Javan Tiger. These are all species who have been declared extinct...because humans have taken their homes. Habitat loss and global warming are killing the incredible animals who inhabit my surface, who have the same right to be here as you humans do. It's time to take back your humanity. It's time to save your planet. To save me. 

You are a species of hope. You are intelligent. Deep down, I know every single one of you understand that the "doomsday" theories and end-of-the-world predictions are not just hypotheses of crazy scientists. They are scientific fact. 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is real and it is a manmade disaster. Perhaps the most realistic picture of my future is presented by an environmentalist on the HBO show, The Newsroom. He states, "A person has already been born who will die due to catastrophic failure of the planet. The last time there was this much CO2 in the air, the oceans were 80 feet higher than they are now." He goes on to describe mine -- and your -- pretty grim futures, "Mass migration, food and water shortages, spread of deadly disease, endless wildfires, storms that have the power to level cities, black out the sky, and create permanent darkness." Europe already faces freshwater shortages, Asia suffers from severe flooding, North America has seen an increase in heat waves and wildfires, and underdeveloped countries will continue to experience diminished crop yields increasing the malnutrition epidemic. 

I don't know what else I can do to make you believe that if something isn't done now, you and I won't be around much longer. We are not invincible. Don't believe that the plastic cutlery and paper cups you throw away won't make a difference in the long run. If you continue to ignore my plight, there will not be a long run. I'm sorry to get all Sarah McLachlan on you, but you're just not listening! It is time to stop pitting yourselves against one another and work together as a species to save me. Because if you don't, it won't matter what North Korea is doing. It won't matter what crazy thing Trump says next or what happens on Grey's Anatomy next week. Our time is up. I beg you to help me, not just for my sake, but for yours. 


The Earth