The Uncharted Lands… Global Warming

This is one of my recent works that I have made for school, and as you can guess, it’s about addressing the issue of global warming, and a teen activist, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, who is fighting to stop it.

Two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef has been damaged as a result of global warming. And that’s not the only effect of this worldwide problem that we have gotten into, with the rising temperatures breaking records every year. People like Xiuhtezcatl Martinez are fighting to stop this problem that has had a large effect on our earth. Martinez believes in the fight for a world that we want to live in, and that we want future generations to enjoy.

To begin, global warming is caused by multiple sources. The most widely known and largest contributing factor is the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil. The problem is, we use it in our everyday lives whether it’s the gas of our cars to electricity production to other factories. It emits primarily carbon dioxide, which is a type of greenhouse gas. When greenhouse gases are put out in the atmosphere, it absorbs infrared radiation, which slows its escape from the atmosphere. Therefore, it traps heat in like a warm-air blanket that surrounds earth in which is called the greenhouse effect, even though greenhouse gases only make up 1 percent of the atmosphere. Deforestation also contributes to greenhouse gases. Since trees take in carbon dioxide to give off oxygen in its place, it creates a balance of gases in the atmosphere. With 50,000 sq. miles of forest being lost each year due to the larger demands from the increasing populations of humankind, it’s no longer stable. Other contributors would be the methane released from landfills and agriculture, and nitrous oxide from fertilizers. According to national geographic, just a molecule of methane produces more than 20 times the warming of a molecule of CO2, while nitrous oxide is more than 300 times more powerful than CO2. Fracking, although one of the less widely known causes, is the process of injecting high pressure liquid to extract oil or gas, causes gas leaks, and natural gas contains primarily methane. While the fracking industry has made more jobs for Americans, one day there will be no more fossil fuels, and those jobs will be lost anyway, all the while releasing dangerous substances. And then there are the overwhelming list of effects caused by global warming. It can hardly be compared to anything else, in which Barack Obama states, “ There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent threat of a changing climate.”(weforum.org) Already the consequences have shown, but they can only grow to more severe outcomes. One example is California’s ongoing drought. As Amanda Macmillan, a freelance journalist, states, California’s worst water shortage in one thousand-two hundred years has been intensified from 15% to 20% by global warming. The odds doubled in the past century, the chance for similar droughts happening in the future are climbing higher. Not only will there be more frequent droughts, but intensified hurricanes, longer allergy seasons, disrupted habitats, the eventual extinction of some species, and the melting of glaciers in Antarctica. Since 2002, Antarctica has been losing about 134 billion metric tons of ice each year, an alarming rate that will cause the ocean to rise several meters in the next century, which can eventually lead to the coastal flooding of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. With this pile of troubles, the scale is tipping more than ever in the majority of greenhouse gases and the more there is of it, the worse each year will get.

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez(pronounced Shu-tez-cat), name meaning the “turquoise warrior,” is the 19 year old Youth Director of Earth Guardians, “tribe of young activists, artists, and musicians from across the globe stepping up as leaders and co-creating the future we know is possible,” has been working to stop global warming. Born in Boulder, Colorado, he was raised in the native Aztec traditions of his father, saying, “My dad taught me that all life is sacred. When I was a little boy, we would always talk about our responsibility to protect our land, our culture, our earth as indigenous people. These teachings are the foundation of the music I write and the things I fight for,” and advocating for social and environmental justice with his mother, who is the executive director of Earth Guardians, both parents being seasoned activists (xiuhtezcatl.bio). With a love for nature while watching the environmental destruction of society around him, he decided that he wanted to do something about it, saying, “Now, I work on climate change, fracking, and indigenous issues because I have a personal investment in them, and because I recognize that this issue going to affect all people, but especially people of color, indigenous people, and youth.”(teenvogue.com) When he was younger, Xiuhtezcatl family was just one among the 22 million people who have already been displaced by sudden weather-related hazards caused by global warming. It is no wonder that at the young age of six that he started speaking at conferences and demonstrations from the Rio+20 United Nations Summit in Rio de Janeiro to the United Nations in New York, having spoken at over a hundred events around the world. His work has been featured on many shows including  PBS, Showtime, and HBO. “An impressive spokesman for a viewpoint the world needs to hear,” Bill Kibben of 350.org calls Xiuhtezcatl. 

Over the years, he has been working to stop global warming by taking action. Whether it is singing passionately through hip-hop or working on speeches, he’s constantly trying to raise a more aware world to do something, saying, “It’s not about being an activist. It’s about recognizing the power you have to make a difference.”(teenvogue) He has worked on successful campaigns to get pesticides out of parks, regulate coal ash, and achieve bans on fracking in Colorado cities, and has even been able to make people in his town pay fees for using plastic bags.  In 2013, Xiuhtezcatl received the United States Community Service Award from President Obama, and was the youngest of 24 national change-makers chosen to serve on the President’s youth council. Later on, he became the lead plaintiff in a youth-led lawsuit against the federal government for their failure to protect the atmosphere for future generations, saying, “Our constitution was written so that we the people could protect our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This includes our right to clean water, clean air and a safe climate. If our government fails to protect these rights, it is the duty of Coloradans to take these matters into our own hands.”(westword) Besides leading the current lawsuit, he has also been working on banning fracking, asking for restrictions on fracking near schools and hospitals that significantly limit the scope of the industry. “We’ve gotten threats from the oil and gas industry… things happen when people start to tell the truth about big industries that are coming in and taking advantage of communities, and taking advantage of resources,” says Xiuhtezcatl(huckmagazine.com).  Overall, Xiuhtezcatl has been working to change the laws to ban the harmful substances and processes that are harming our environment.

In conclusion, Xiuhtezcatl is a very effective teen activist. He is striving to raise awareness and to make those in power take action. Xiuhtezcatl, a teen activist and hip-hop artist, has been working to produce a better world for generations to live in, whether through his music or trying to change laws for the better. He believes if we work together and fight, then we can make this a world that our descendants will enjoy.

Martinez Xiuhtezcatl (image from: https://www.earthguardians.org/xiuhtezcatl )

Works Cited:

“About Xiuhtezcatl.” Xiuhtezcatl, Brooke, 2018, www.xiuhtezcatl.com/bio/.

Martinez, Xiuhtezcatl. “This 17-Year-Old Is Standing Up for the Environment in a Major 

Forsberg, Michael. “Causes of Global Warming.” National Geographic, National Geographic 

Partners, LLC. , 14 July 2017, http://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/global-warming-causes/. 

Martinez, Xiuhtezcatl. “This 17-Year-Old Is Standing Up for the Environment in a Major Way.” Teen Vogue, TeenVogue.com, 27 Apr. 2018, www.teenvogue.com/story/xiuhtezcatl-martinez-explains-why-hes-fighting-climate-change.

Nierynck, Robin. “The 14-Year-Old Environmental Activist That’s Changing This Generation.” Huck Magazine, 16 Dec. 2015, www.huckmagazine.com/perspectives/activism-2/kid-warrior/.

Olabi, Nora. “Xiuhtezcatl Martinez Talks Music, Politics and Suing the Government.” Westword, 28 Mar. 2018, http://www.westword.com/news/colorado-supreme-court-takes-up-xiuhtezcatl-martinez-case-on-fracking-9945864.

PE: Making GPA No Easy Exercise

Image result for tired from running public domain image
tired from running

Today I’ll be sharing with you an essay I wrote addressing the issue of whether your PE grades should affect your GPA. Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this. ^v^

Sweat dripping off your forehead as long, heavy breaths of air are forced down your lungs, feet stumbling, struggling to finish the laps around the gym court, as you hope the coach doesn’t look at you. Yet you know you are silently being graded as the teacher glances at you, shaking his head in disappointment as he marks down something on his paper. Then suddenly, it’s the end of the trimester, and you look down at your grades only to see your perfect GPA spoiled. In many of the schools today, a commonly asked question would be, “ Should students’ grades in PE affect their overall GPA?” ‘No,’ you think, ‘I shouldn’t be graded on this just because I can’t run fast enough… right?’ With PE affecting our GPA, it isn’t making it fair, because everybody is born differently, you can be graded incorrectly, and it affects the college you go to.

To start off, not everyone is the same. Our bodies are built differently, from short to tall and thin to wide. How much a person weighs or how long someone’s legs can greatly affect someone’s overall performance, such as running. Carrying all those pounds are going to slow you down, and if your legs are shorter you have to take more strides to equal those with longer legs, resulting in more of an effort from your body. Not to mention everyone grows at different rates during high school, which is the time that grades matter. At times, it’s not even our fault, with genetics and body types to fight. And what about those who have medical problems? Some kids are just born with asthma and diabetes, along with a looming pile of other problems that might never go away throughout their lifetimes. Should we grade them when they’re in such conditions? Those who are athletes will boost their GPA when it is actually meant for their academics. It almost a discrimination, with all the varying physical attributes that people have.

In addition, you can be graded incorrectly. So the question is, “How is PE graded?” While it does grade on participation and effort, the main part of the grade is the tests and being able to reach the minimum, like any other class. As told above, not everyone is the same. That means that some will be naturally stronger, standing on the top, while others will be hanging on the thread of average hoping that they won’t fall to the below average line. Sometimes, effort simply isn’t enough when you’re up against talent. Whoever’s in charge of PE classes might not see how some struggle more than others, which results in an unfair grade. Not everyone’s limit is the average limit of the state. Being unable to reach a minimum that, at that point in time, is unreachable, shouldn’t matter. What truly matters in PE is education on how to be fit and to participate, alongside with the improvement and growth of each individual.

Finally, it affects the college you go to. Basically, the rest of your future lies in the hands of your GPA. Colleges greatly consider your GPA and class rank for admission. Having the privilege of being part of a sports team depended whether or not you could keep up good grades. So how come we’re grading it now? Second, in some cases, just one bad grade can drag down your entire year of grades, no matter how many A’s you got, especially when in your junior and senior years of high school. Should non-athletic people who actually have the brains and have done the work and effort be denied being doctors or a lawyer because of the PE grades in their GPA? Why should the athletes get better scores just because they are born that way instead of those who work hard to attain academical understanding and scores? While being fit is important, it shouldn’t dampen the chances of someone reaching their full potential when it doesn’t even require much physicality. Unless you are planning to be an athlete or be part of the army, it shouldn’t show up on your GPA. Besides those, only about 14% of jobs require heavy work, and that percentage is decreasing as more jobs that involve technology are pushing the numbers. Should we let all of these factors affect the college we go to?

To sum it up, not everyone’s born with the same talents and physical attributes, those who aren’t athletic can be graded incorrectly and have different limits, and last but not least, it affects the college you go to and paves which way your life will go. We shouldn’t do that to people who actually deserve that GPA score but aren’t as athletic to others. So in conclusion, because of all of these points, PE should not affect our GPA.

Works Cited:

Sundquist, Kate. “Can I Get Into a Top College With a C on My Transcript?” 

CollegeVine, 19 Nov. 2017,  (https://blog.collegevine.com/can-i-get-into-a-top-college-with-a-c-on-my-transcript/)

Banis, Casie. “New Gyms Grades Create GPA Tug-of-War.” 

Chicago Tribune, 30 Nov. 1997. (https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1997-11-30-9711300323-story.html)

Image from: http://chittagongit.com/icon/tired-icon-13.html
   

   

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