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Our World This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The industrial revolution brought success to the civilized world but it also brought a nightmare called "pollution." In the past decade we've become more environmentally conscious of our planet, but for almost a century we've been a "throw-away" society with an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality. Industrial smoke has polluted our air, whole communities have been built over nuclear waste landfills, fish and wildlife have died in our once pristine streams and rivers and our rain forests are being leveled to make room for strip malls and bigger cities. The world's dependence on fossil fuel turned the Kuwait desert into a burning inferno for six months and oil spills like the one in Alaska are becoming more frequent.

The only way to solve a problem is to first admit that there is one. The world came together in an "Earth Summit" this year to define the scope of the problem and to come up with some solutions. It's sort of like putting a Band-Aid on a mortal wound, but for any success, there must be a beginning.

The world is no longer a vast expanse of unchartered frontier but a microcosm of people living together under one ozone layer and sharing from one bread basket. We cannot practice isolationism in a world so full of technology that Chernobyl's fallout affects the milk production in Scandinavia and the burning wells of the Kuwait desert can be seen from outer space.

But where do we begin? I believe we begin with ourselves. By picking up the small piece of plastic that might make its way to our oceans, by recycling our waste products, by taking the responsibility for our own environment, it will make a difference in the whole world we live in. By taking a stand beside other people who care, there will be strength in unity. Greenpeace is making a global difference because they're taking a stand and making a commitment. Commitment is the word we must build our future on. We must commit ourselves to stop the criminal rape of natural resources; we must commit ourselves to living in harmony with animals and the land; we must commit ourselves to the future. The world has the wonderful ability to rejuvenate itself if left to its own resources. We, as a society, have just begun to realize that we cannot take our planet for granted any longer. I feel hopeful that we have begun the long process of rejuvenation so that our children and our children's children can enjoy the beauty of the world as God planned it. n


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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