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These Are The Things Teens Will Miss If Climate Change Destroys Earth

“Everything. I’m only 17, I haven’t lived. It’s scary.”

Posted on September 20, 2019, at 5:24 p.m. ET

Around the world, millions of people — a lot of them young students — took to the streets to demand action against climate change ahead of Saturday’s first-ever UN Youth Climate Summit in New York City.

In New York, students skipped school by the thousands to make their way to Manhattan’s Foley Square, where Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist and founder of main organizing group #FridaysForFuture, led an enormous march down Broadway to Battery Park. In clever signs and deafening chants, crowds made themselves very clear — the Earth as it exists now is dying, and if nothing changes, it will be too late to do anything about it.

BuzzFeed News sent photographers Erin Lefevre and Avery White to meet some of the teens and ask them a simple question that cuts to heart of why they march: “What will you miss about Earth when it’s too far gone to be saved?”

Kristina Dang, 17, from the Bronx

Erin Lefevre

“I’m really afraid of missing out on natural land and seeing our land filled with landfill. I see it already and it’s really scary.”

Avery Tsai, 9, from Brooklyn

Avery White

“Everything. The Earth is in trouble, and the grown ups are not fighting and protesting enough. They need to act now.”

Emily Lee, 16, from Brooklyn

Erin Lefevre

“I’m scared to have kids because I’m afraid they’ll grow up in a world where it’s not safe to live anymore.”

Artemisa Xakriabá, 19, from Minas Gerais, Brazil

Avery White

“My family, my forest, my land — therefore I will lose my life. We have to resist to exist.”

Melanie Franco, 17, from Queens

Erin Lefevre

“Everything. I’m only 17, I haven’t lived. It’s scary.”

Sumaya Khatari, 13, from Brooklyn

Erin Lefevre

“I’m afraid to lose our animals and creatures because they’re a big part of our world. The forests and oceans will be really bad for the animals. We need to change the world and how it is.”

George Kelly, 17, from the Bronx

Erin Lefevre

“I’m most afraid of losing the beauty of the night sky because in the future we might not be able to see that anymore.”

Lenina Subhas, 9, from Queens

Avery White

“I’m afraid of losing a lot of the animals I love, like polar bears and penguins.”

Hendrix Honig, 8, from Brooklyn

Erin Lefevre

“My family and Hawaii.”

Aquinnah Lane Thurlow, 13, from Hoboken, New Jersey

Erin Lefevre

“Getting to see beautiful places and experiencing them with friends and family.”

Natalie De La Cruz, 17, from Manhattan

Erin Lefevre

“One of my biggest fears is losing the animals because we’re losing so many animals and their natural habitats. We’re seeing the color fade away.”

Jeanne Bransbourg, 16, from Brooklyn

Erin Lefevre

“I want my kids to have a place to live and experience the same wonders I’ve experienced, such as the coral reefs. I want my kid’s kids and all the future generations to enjoy Earth.”

Olivia Wohlgemuth, 17, from Brooklyn

Avery White

“Missing out on my future would be an understatement. Losing is a more appropriate word. I’m losing my future, I’m losing my chance to raise children in a healthy, livable world. We’re losing our chance at a future that has a peaceful planet that is just for all, with conditions that people can survive in. That’s what we’ll lose if this climate crisis continues at its current trajectory.”

Kelvin Cortez, 16, from Queens

Erin Lefevre

“I want to be a veterinarian, and just the thought of seeing all those animals dying would hurt. Somebody has to do something, and that’s where we come in.”

Angus Parkhill, 14, from Brooklyn

Avery White

“Lots of coastal cities and towns will be destroyed by rising sea water and many parts of the Earth will be unlivable.”

Gloria Juela, 14, from Queens

Avery White

“I’m afraid my future kids won’t be able to have the same opportunities past generations did. Even though we’re young, we can change this world.”

Lou Ramdani, 13, from Lyon, France

Avery White

“I’m afraid of losing my future. I’ll be 23 years old in 2030, and if I want to have kids in the future, I may not be able to show them all the wonders of this planet, and that really hurts because I didn’t ask for this. My parents got to enjoy nature, and these government officials got to as well, but we may not get to for much longer.”

Stella Hamlin, 11, from New York City

Avery White

“I’m afraid of losing a connection to the Earth because it’s really important to remember where we come from. This is our Earth, there’s no plan B.”




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