Introduction to an Environmental Showcase by Editor-in-Chief of #DearAdultWorld.com

Calvin Ryerse, 18

Admittedly, the event wasn’t what I thought it to be. I thought that we would be going to a small West Village club to see one of my favorite artists play his guitar and sing, but rather, we found ourselves in an avant-garde artists’ collective, three bizarre acts into an anti-fracking non-profit’s end of the year bash. Surrounded by a slew of older white New York City hippies, my roommate and I were the youngest people there by thirty years. It was definitely not the vibe we were expecting. 

However, I was really taken by these older activists. Growing up in Arkansas, it was rare for me to see anyone over the age of thirty to take the existential threat of climate change to be anything but the liberal snowflakes’ new talking point. I often felt that people were too scared to accept the truth of the situation and would believe fake facts to create a false sense of security for themselves. From school to friend’s houses, I learned that it was easier to bite my tongue than to refute an adult’s outlandish claims. 

During a short break, we struck up a conversation with a woman next to us, who was at least in her sixties. I had noticed her earlier really vibin’ with what she saw on stage. Waves of tears, laughter, and dance crashed over her as each act went along. She was simultaneously hopeful and deeply cynical about the planet’s health and the future of humanity. At the end of our conversation, she reached over and hugged my roommate and I saying, “Can I hug you? Your generation is just so brave.” While taken aback, I embraced her. It was a rare moment in which I felt like an adult took this issue as seriously as I did. 

In this collection of pieces by young people across the world, you will discover the voice of teens expressing their everything. The anxiety about the changing climate weighs on these people, as they should for you. It’s time you share the load. It’s time you learn. It’s time you hug a teen because it’s going to be us cleaning up the mess you left for us.

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