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Are We Doing Enough? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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      Our lives, futures and planetare in danger! By polluting the air, illegally disposing of toxic waste andburning rainforests, we are damaging our world, and what is the world, especiallyAmerica, doing? Is it doing all that it can and should? The very simple answer isno.

When I researched the United States' environmental efforts, I wasstunned. I expected facts that would show an overwhelming effort to do all it canto help our planet, but I was wrong. Everything I found showed overwhelminglythat America is doing nothing even close to what it should be.

The UnitedStates should be setting the standard. Citizens may be helping to protect theenvironment, but in many cases the government is not.

Our problems rangefrom toxic waste to deforestation, air pollution and many, many more. Although wecontinue to investigate these, little has been done. In 1995, the governmentseverely slashed funds for the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA isdevoted to "protecting human health and safeguarding the naturalenvironment," but its funds were used instead to build more highways(epa.gov). So the government took money from this agency to further damage theenvironment. They didn't stop there, though, and also withdrew funding fromPopulation Control, a problem that becomes more serious every day. But wecontinue to manufacture hazardous chemicals and dispose of toxic waste inthird-world countries.

In 1970, we clearly stated that we wanted to leadthe world effort in environmental reform. In my opinion, in the past threedecades we have not backed up this promise, lagging well behind other countriesin opposing rainforest destruction, drift net sea fishing, and other destructive practices.

Some claim that the U.S. has done a lotto improve the environment, and I believe we have tried, like the development ofSuperfund, an organization formed to clean up toxic waste. Some may argue thatPresident Clinton didn't take enough action and President Bush certainly has alot to fix. Some say we have more to worry about than the environment, includingwar and preserving our Constitution. But aren't we a little selfish to look onlyat our problems, and not the world in general? You could say that problems should be addressed one place at a time, but time is runningout.

As an American, I am embarrassed that my country is so ignorant,selfish and hypocritical. I love the U. S., but don't we stand for equality,courage and doing what is right? I believe that when it comes to environmentalcontrol, we show little sign of any of these traits. Even more than I love mycountry, I love my planet, and look forward to my future here, but if wecontinue to sit around and wait for someone else to improve it for us, our futurewill be filled with serious problems that should have been prevented.

This world is ours, and it's our job to save it. So weall must take a stand to correct what could potentially be catastrophic. Ifeveryone does something, like writing your congressperson or donating toconservation funds, we can make a difference in our future. The future is in ourhands; what we do today will have a lasting impact. What are you going to do?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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Muneeb said...
today at 6:27 am:
Its a really nice essay, i find it very helping and  its a stunning effort,really .... :)
 
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