Tag Archives: global warming

What the Future Holds

During the ten days I spent in Bethel, I heard numerous stories about the threats of climate change. I saw the tears of a young college student as he explained the reality of climate change. I heard the fears of Yup’ik elders, who could foresee an ominous future due to this reality. However, it was not until I headed to Seward, AK on our tourism portion of the trip, that I visibly saw the effects of climate change.

Saturday, our group had the amazing opportunity to explore the creatures and landscape of the sea on a six hour long boat tour.

The views were breathtaking and majestic. The earth stood untouched by humans and the sea was fresh and clear. Unlike most places I have visited in the lower 48, there was no smog or skyscrapers interrupting the nature as it played out before us.

I saw dolphins race beneath the boat and leap freely between the waves. I saw six sprightly whales traveling together as a family. Sea lions, tufted puffins, and bald eagles graced our presence as we witnessed the beauty and grace possible when humans are not misusing and abusing the land.

Then, our boat approached a glacier. The first thing I witnessed was its obvious beauty and massiveness, but not short after, I came to notice the chunks of ice floating in the surrounding sea. I then heard large rumbles followed by pounds and pounds of ice crashing to the sea and saw water trickling down the ice structure.

The glacier I saw on the boat tour
The glacier I saw on the boat tour

With each new drop of water or topple of ice, I thought back to the nature I had just witnessed in the open sea. I thought of how carefree and healthy they seemed living so far from an obnoxious human population. I then came to realize how wrong I was in thinking they were untouched by the human race.

Our pollution, waste, and energy needs are affecting creatures miles and miles away from us. With each new ice chunk that enters the sea, the habitat of the dolphins, whales, and sea lions is changing. In this moment, I  finally understood why the Yup’ik elders fear what the future holds.

Without a drastic change in our current behavior, species, food sources, and the land may not survive, and their literally may be nothing for the future to hold.

I’m Sorry

If you’ve known me for any amount of time, you know that I apologize a lot. I tend to sympathize with whoever I am with, and try to communicate that I feel with whatever they are going through. It’s been my way of trying to be there for another person. It’s me verbalizing a hug, or giving myself to that person.

But as if I don’t say I’m sorry enough times in a day, I’ve found a few more reasons to say it.

I’m sorry. To those affected by climate change, especially those here in Bethel. For too long I’ve lived in my own little bubble. Though I’ve always believed that climate change was an issue, I never saw its effects and therefore did not give it much thought. But the lives that it is affecting here in Bethel are real, and it has opened my eyes to the true damage that climate change is having on our world.

I’m sorry. For the times I’ve lived my life selfishly. Living my life with only my future and my plans in mind. The times that I fall into the mind set of forgetting all the other people, communities, and cultures in this world, and taking for granted the connections we all have as a global society.

I’m sorry. For the times I’ve been thoughtless and wasteful; Whether I mean in terms of material, resources, relationships, or abilities. I know that I have been blessed in my life with my father as a strong provider,my mother as a strong supporter, family and friends to rely on, and many opportunities and resources to help me get further in my life. And while I have been blessed with all these things, there are numerous times that I have taken them all for granted. I need to step back and take a look at my life, and keep myself and my blessings in check.

I’m sorry. For not believing in myself to be capable of invoking change and making a difference in this world. Too often I over look my own thoughts and beliefs as small and insignificant. I am only one person, out of millions. With the mentality of “What difference could I ever make?” I am never challenged to take a stand, and work towards change.

Nelson, I’m sorry.
I hope more people, in Bethel and throughout the world, can learn to be as well.

I do owe you thanks, though as well.

Thank you for your dedication and passion for climate change. Thank you for your words. Thank you for touching my heart, and helping me to see the true emotional affects happening because of climate change.
Thank you for inspiring me.