Yes, that’s my new name. Worried and Angry.
I’m worried and angry for my grandson. For us. For the earth.
And I am not sleeping very well these days—especially since November when the United Nations released a big scientific report that said that we, as a global community, have only around 10 years to get our act together to avoid a climate catastrophe.
That’s a big and scary word—catastrophe.
My dictionary says it means “an event causing great and often sudden damage or suffering; a disaster.“ Yikes.
Of course, like most of you, I’ve been worried about our changing climate for a while. On TV we have all watched bigger storms, hotter, drier summers, fires, warming and rising oceans, and land and ocean animals that are suffering and even disappearing. Some of you have experienced these new and scary changes more directly than I have in Vermont.
And what about my anger? Thanks for asking.
Yes, I’m also feeling angry. Very, very angry. Angry that our leaders are not taking this threat seriously at all. They seem to only be thinking of the companies that are making more pollution, so they can make more money. Triple-big boo.
So, will my grandson necessarily face a more dangerous world when he grows up?
Maybe not—if we all take charge. Adults need to elect new leaders. And even more importantly, and right now, that all of us need to be the new leaders.
You’re smart. You know that a lot of little things can make big things happen. You and I can do lots of little, very important things that, just maybe, can make a difference to help stop the disaster that is looming. Things like recycling, turning off lights, living with less, driving less, flying less, planting trees, giving to helpful organizations (like A4ED)—all these things can make a BIG difference, if more people do them.
I think kids can play a huge role. They can write and even call our leaders and ask them what they plan to do to protect our future. Your future. My grandson’s future.
So that’s it. What do you say we stop talking about this and start doing something?!
Maybe then I will stop worrying quite so much. And sleep better.
My grandson deserves better. We all deserve better.
Before I sign off this important blog, and worriedly and angrily get to work on all this important stuff with you, here’s a short poem I wrote about our very important job:
The earth is green, and mostly blue,
and much more old than it is new.
The earth is fierce, but mostly kind,
and if you travel, you will find
That people on it sometimes fight,
but mostly they know wrong from right.
They mostly know that they must care
for every speck of earth and air.
But some forget and often splash
the air with smog and sea with trash.
It’s up to us to raise alarms
to help protect the fields and farms,
Forest creatures, ocean fishes.
The time is past for dreams and wishes.
We have to save the precious skies.
We need to open up our eyes
And keep the dirt away from lungs,
with sturdy hands and active tongues.
It’s up to me, it’s up to you
to keep the planet green and blue.
© 2019 Ted Scheu
Ted Scheu is a children’s poet from Middlebury, VT. His work appears in six of his own collections and several dozen anthologies around the globe, including a super-cool, new one from National Geographic, “The Poetry of US.” Ted’s website might get you giggling at www.poetryguy.com/