Grand Rapids, MI
2018, High School, Art
In a chemistry experiment, I was tasked with watching ice melt, timing it to measure the duration the ice took to liquefy. Bored and close-minded, I dozed as the cube in my glass started to crackle under the heat. By the time the experiment gained my attention, the ice was gone. It takes a horrifyingly short amount of time for beauty to get destroyed. Here, I recreated the experiment using our present oceans collected in the glass. As the timer counts down, the ecosystem watches the icebergs—their home—dissolve into nothingness. We started the timer; we used our environment for centuries, polluting it as we saw fit, ignoring the daunting evidence all around us. Icebergs are melting, displacing polar bears; fish are dying in the warming waters, leaving animals without a food source; and greenhouse gasses we emit are destroying plant life we’ve known and loved. Even within a glassful of ocean, each part of the fragile ecosystem has been mottled by humankind’s choices. I have been taught to feel hopeless about our current situation, but I cannot help but feel hopeful. I believe we hold the power to stop the clock, erase this awful experiment from our lands, and heal our environment we’ve abused. Let the change start with us—you and I—through raising awareness of the effects of climate change. When the world finally does open its eyes and sees the destruction we have caused, I don’t want it to be too late.