This letter features reporting from “Young Climate Activists Warn Their Elders: Stop Destroying the Planet” by Parth MN, Kate Linthicum, and Emily Baumgaertner, a Pulitzer Center reporting project

Dear Nancy Pelosi,

My name is Adi Kawakami and I am a fifth grader at San Francisco Schoolhouse. We are learning about global issues at school, and climate change worries me. I read an article called “Young Climate Activists Warn Their Elders: Stop Destroying the Planet” by Parth MN, Kate Linthicum, and Emily Baumgaertner. 

The planet is warming, and more and more natural disasters are happening in all parts of the world. There are huge floods happening because of the rising sea levels and global warming is also causing wildfires. This is a very serious issue that needs to be fixed for the future of the U.S. and the world. “The planet is warming, the animals are disappearing, the rivers are dying, and our plants don’t flower like they did before,” says Txai Suru, a young Indigenous climate activist­. Oceans are hotter than ever before, and the rate of sea level rise has doubled since 2006. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere haven’t been this high in two million years. Over one million plants and animal species are at risk of extinction.

These aren’t just far-away issues, though. Wildfires are a big problem here in California. Wildfires have been a problem for a long time, but since global warming is worsening, forest fires have become a more important problem. Some of California’s biggest wildfires this year have been happening in Riverside. The largest active fire is the Campbell fire, which has burned 41,540 acres so far.

One way that we can prevent climate change is by preventing water waste. Saving water is one way to reduce carbon pollution because it takes a lot of energy to pump and heat your water. It helps to take shorter showers and turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. You should use a fuel-efficient vehicle. Cars like hybrids and all-electric cars are much better than using gas-powered cars. This is because gas-powered cars produce carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is very dangerous to humans, as it can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and even kill people. Carbon monoxide is a greenhouse gas that is linked to climate change. One way you can help stop climate change is to make electric cars less expensive. People don’t use electric cars because they are much more expensive than gas-powered ones. You can also make solar panels less expensive so we can have safer and reusable energy.

Thank you for reading my letter,

Sincerely, Adi Kawakami.

Adi Kawakami is 10 years old and a 5th grader at SF Schoolhouse in San Francisco, CA.

Adi loves to read, draw, play basketball, and take ski trips to Tahoe. He recently made a trip to India to visit family.

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