My name is Rachel Frizell, I am 14 years old, and I live in New York City. I am one of the many kids whose lives have been disrupted by hurricanes and other extreme weather that is becoming more common thanks to global warming. As a member of Kids vs Global Warming and the iMatter Youth Council, I am part of a legal action suing the federal government for a national climate recovery plan. We know Hurricane Sandy was not just a freak storm, and we need our President to stop fighting us in court and meet with us, our attorneys, and climate scientists.
As a result of Hurricane Sandy, all NYC schools have been closed for over a week. My school, which is situated right in Zone A, is so badly damaged that we’ll be having classes in another building. Our first floor, including our cafeteria, gym, and lockers, were totally flooded, and many student possessions were destroyed. One friend’s neighborhood was so flooded that there were cars and other large objects, like mattresses, floating down the streets; One of my friends has hosted some storm refugees in her apartment. Others had to evacuate. Transit systems are down and rat populations are up, raising health concerns.
In short, Sandy has been a disaster for New York. And the scary part is, this is not a freak storm or an isolated event. This is the new normal. 100-year floods like this will be happening way too much for us to manage. My city had a hard time handling Sandy; how are we going to stay on our feet if these hurricanes come more often? We won’t be able to rebuild our transit system each time it gets this damaged. We won’t be able to maintain our education system if extreme weather hits every year.
If there’s one thing climate change has shown the people of NYC, it’s that climate change is no joke. It is a real threat to our city, our homes, our education, and our lives. Will you join me in pressuring President Obama to stop fighting us in court and sit down with the plaintiffs in our case Alec L. v. Lisa Jackson, et al. to commit to a climate recovery plan?