Only the stumps of trees remain. The ice has vanished; polar bears need a new home. The sky is forever gray, coated in a thick layer of smog. Streets are flooded, houses are burnt to a crisp. It’s hotter than it was last year. The ground is dry and cracked; the drought owns that land now. The ocean is getting deeper as the sea level rises. The Pacific Garbage Patch conquers more area each day. They are pulling straws out of turtles’ noses and cutting plastic six pack rings off of their necks. Our earth—our home—is getting hotter, and we are to blame. If only we bought an electric car, even a hybrid would do. If only we switched to paper grocery bags. If only we switched to metal straws. If only we installed solar panels. If only we gave up meat. If only we took shorter showers. If only we unplugged the drier and hung out clothes to dry. If only we turned off the light when we left the room. If only we stood up for our planet. If only we worked together to stop burning our home.
By Rebecca Gunderson, TIWP Student