In a city like New York, it is easy for a society so privileged to lose sight of real issues that directly affect most of the world. Known as the city that never sleeps, everyone has their own agenda, which makes it easy to lose yourself in the privilege that living in this city provides you with. I was able to become aware of this privilege as a young child by traveling back to my home country Spain.
I would spend parts of my summers in Extremadura, a region in western Spain that has the most beautiful landscapes and nature I have ever encountered in my life. There, I would go weeks in 104 degrees Fahrenheit with no air conditioning and growing all my food. I went from the most cosmopolitan city in the world, New York, with the privilege of having anything I needed at the supermarket on my block, to having to grow my food or drive an hour to the nearest supermarket. This radical change made me open my eyes the the idea that most people around the world don’t live with the same comfort as those in a city like New York. However, one day I woke up to the sound of thunder and the smell of wet dirt, the perfect recipe for my tomatoes that I had been growing to be ruined. Hours after the storm passed, I was left with nothing but a green little unripe tomato and a look of disappointment on my six-year-old face. This made me realize how much weather must affect everyone around the world who can’t just go to the supermarket down the street. Weather can have radical effects on people on low income levels which in comparison to New York being a high income city, weather has only a miniscule impact on peoples lives. Climate change can leave people without food, a home or their monthly paycheck from growing and selling food.
The most ironic thing about climate change is that it will affect everyone around the world. In fact, it is already affecting everyone around the world. However, depending on where you live and what your income is, it affects you more or less in different ways. If extreme action is not taken, it will affect everyone on all different income levels. With the privilege that I have living in New York City, I want to educate people about the harmful effects that some high-income societies have on climate change, which translates into harming low-income communities. I want to advocate for cleaner ways of day to day life through diet and even renewable energy sources. We all live in one world, and climate change is knocking on our door. We need to work as one not divided.
I am passionate about taking part in FXB as a climate change advocate. As I set off on this journey, I hope to learn and inspire others along the way. Being part of representing the youth’s voice on climate change is extremely important to me mainly because our generation will face this issue in our near future. May this be just one of my many steps to advocating and making a change on climate change.