2018, High School, Poetry
One degree Celsius.
A mild breeze sweeps over the water,
Like a warm summer’s day,
Doesn’t seem so bad.
Maybe the ocean is a little bit higher,
A little less sand on the beach,
Rising by 2.3 meters does not make a difference
To those who don’t live near the waves.
Maybe some animals will die and others will take over,
A little less variety in the sea,
The Fenestrulina rugula’s domination of warmer Antarctic waters
Doesn’t affect people like you and me.
Two degrees Celsius.
It isn’t that big of a number,
We might break a little sweat here and there,
But that’s no cause for concern, or is it?
Mighty storms grow mightier,
Typhoons, Hurricanes, Cyclones, whatever name you choose,
Wreaking havoc only where their deadly grasp can reach.
The great big ocean continues to be fed
By the cold Arctic ice that is neither cold nor ice,
As it melts away completely just during the summer months.
Three degrees Celsius.
Now it’s starting to feel quite a bit hotter,
The sun beats down on the deep blue ocean,
Perhaps it is time to pay attention.
Sea level continues its sinister rise,
Some unlucky few are swallowed by the jaws of the ocean,
Shanghai in China to Miami in America and much more to come.
Water a third more acidic than it used to be,
A path of destruction in its wake,
From fish to coral and everything in between.
Four degrees Celsius.
A once beneficent king has become a tyrant,
And the ocean’s majesty has been replaced by fear,
Paralyzing us all.
“Whatever happened to all the grand glaciers and the impenetrable ice at the poles?”
We wonder as we are buried under the sea,
Beneath all the floating bones of once thriving species.
Atlantis sounds magnificent and grand,
But make-believe stories and imaginative fairytales won’t save us
From slowly and agonizingly drowning in the water that created life long ago.
Five degrees Celsius.
The second hand of the doomsday clock ticks past midnight,
Like the front line of an invincible army that refuses to stop marching,
Like a merciless tidal wave that runs over the shore.
The gift of life has been viciously wrest from our hands,
By none other than our own folly;
An ominous sea of lethal acid with hydrogen sulfide spewing from its depths,
It is an incessant eradication of living creatures,
A mass extinction to end all mass extinctions,
A mortal self-inflicted wound.
Six degrees Celsius.
Mother Earth is trapped in a burning tomb,
Poseidon has turned his back on mankind,
And his fellow gods have followed suit.
A towering wall of fire appears above the water’s surface,
It only takes a spark to set the methane filled air ablaze,
An impressive sight to behold if only there were anyone left to see it.
Our lively planet is now just a planet that orbits meaninglessly in space
Even Lucifer would suffer in a world like this,
At least there is company in hell.
Whether or not the world will count to six,
That is up to us.
In a world that continues to advance at an ever-increasing rate, the issue of climate change remains unsolved, especially regarding our oceans. I was inspired to write this poem as I reflected upon the severe impacts of ignoring the problems that global warming will have on the planet. I have always cared deeply about ensuring that our planet remains sustainable and beautiful for future generations to enjoy, but it seems that many people, including government leaders, forget the importance of saving the oceans. This poem will hopefully bring attention to the extraordinarily threatening future that possibly awaits if no action is taken soon. Even a rise of 1 or 2 degrees Celsius could spell the end of life as we know it, and the small numerical value of this change is deceiving. No one ever thinks much of even a change as insignificant as 6 degrees, and we forget that just because we can sit in an air conditioned room does not mean that our environment and our oceans can survive the drastic change. By attributing each temperature increment to the shocking effects that it will have on our world, I intend for this poem to encourage humanity to take action and recognize the harms that we are inflicting upon our planet.