This unit in world history we talked about climate change. In class we discussed the New York climate march and it’s impact on the global movement. The point of the march was to bring more attention to climate change. We also talked about people who had no interest in helping to improve climate change. For the unit project we were assigned to write monologues from three different points of view. The people you chose to write from could be for climate change, against climate change, real people, or a character you made up. I chose to write from the perspective of Bill Nye, a working Canadian man, and an African American father. All three of these people have different stories of how climate change has affected them and how they choose to help or not help.
[A scientist addressing kids on climate change in 2014. Bill Nye starts off on center stage in the background there is a fun lab table.]
Bobby Learns A Lesson
Hey kids, welcome back to a special reunion of Bill Nye the science guy with me Bill Nye!! (kids clap) This episode kids we’re going to talk about climate change. It is very important that everyone pays attention because this is a very special episode. Can someone tell me what climate change is?… very close John good guess but an interesting factoid is that climate change is not just when the world gets hotter it can also be when places get colder, or have really big storms, or no rain at all. The full definition of climate change is a change in global or regional climate patterns. In fact that’s just what we’re talking about today three different people from all over the world who have been affected by climate change in one way or another. The first place we’ll be visiting is a man from our northern neighbors in Canad (Bobby interrupts) yes Bobby? Well here’s the thing Bobby we may not always feel it, but believe it or not the climate around us has been changing and we are here to stop it! (Bobby interrupts) This planet is at the top of our to take care of to do list because young one without the earth we wouldn’t have anywhere to live. Now to continue we are going to meet Gary fro (Bobby interrupts) See now it’s not nice to interrupt people Bobby but what’s your question (Bobby interrupts) I know that the sun is warm and you like to play in it, but our fun comes at a price. It may be sunny in here but in other parts of the world people are dying and need our help to protect them. The only way we can do that is to make the world a healthier place. You want to live in a healthy happy place don’t you Bobby (Bobby replies) that’s why today we’re going to talk about climate change ALL over the world (Bobby replies) Around the world many people are like you they don’t know what to believe and they think that we have more important things to pay attention to. Even though climate change won't do anything really bad for many many years we want the people of the future to have a safe planet to call home (Bobby replies) Exactly Bobby, there is so much more to climate change, and now you can go home and tell your friends and family to protect and preserve the earth. Alrighty now so lets move on and do some fun weather experiments.
[A middle aged man who has lost faith in the effects of climate change. He’s in his house talking to his daughter. She has just heard a lecture on the coming effects of climate change]
Bring the Community Together
No no no that’s not what I said. I know that climate change is something that’s affecting our world, I don’t deny that. All I’m saying is that the earth has gone through so many changes and fixed itself. Take the ice age, the world froze over in ice and then melted itself and no one is completely sure why (daughter interrupts) I get that a sheet of ice isn’t the same thing as us destroying the ozone but you have to consider… Yeah pop pop did die from black lung disease due to air pollution what’s that have to do with anything? Anyway, the air pollution is dangerous yes but we wont feel the effects of that for years. You know when I was in school about thirty years ago, teachers always said that Delaware was going to be in the ocean. Something about our pollution was going to cause the water to rise, then most of the middle of the east coast was going to sink. They always rambled on and on about how bad climate change was getting but then nothing ever happened.
Coming from a small black neighborhood people would get worried. Everyone would be all riled up waiting for Philly to fall straight into the river. That’s another thing, why don’t you educate people before you start saying that we’re going to end up like freaking Atlantis. Black people start getting all worried and don’t even have all the information. People get ready to move to outer space… My whole thing is that if scientist really believe in this stuff they’ll do three things: educate the people, rally the people for change, and eliminate the problem. The three keys to success. Leaders never realize that black communities know how to stay together. If they took enough time to listen to their opinion, there would be a new group of allies that would be squad deep. Black communities want to be involved just like the rest of the world. If you isolate them they’ll just add to the problem. They’ll continue to pollute or litter and that’s another problem in of itself. So before you start telling people what they have to do, explain. All anybody ever wants to do is understand.
[Gary is in a courtroom on the witness stand]
I did it okay, I confess! I don’t know why we’re here, please cuff me. Throw me in a cold hard cell with no windows, I don’t deserve to see the light… No I will not calm down, I will not be quite, and I will not move! I killed my wife okay, I take sole responsibility… Maybe I wasn’t the one who got her sick but I might as well have pulled the trigger, you know if there was a gun… Fine I’ll tell you what happened from the beginning. About 10 months ago me and by wife were blessed with having a child. And this was really a miracle you know (get’s excited then quites down). Our own little baby, we couldn’t have been happier! But you know with all little miracles a new burden comes. You know what I’m saying, the almighty dollar shows mercy to no one, am I right? (chuckles). Anyway I knew I had to get a better job, cleaning up a the local high school wasn’t going to do it. Then lucky me, an opportunity presents itself. Trans Canada was going door to door in my neighborhood and handing out jobs. They said they needed help on this Keystone thing. Pretty steady gig, said it would last about a year and a half, and the pay was good so I thought you know what the hell. The first couple of months it was going pretty well, I caught the bus into Toronto everyday, got paid once a week and my wife… well she was doing great (heavy sigh.) So about 8 months into the job, when my wife was nearing the end of the pregnancy, we went to the gyno… And that’s when she said that everything with the baby was fine but my wife was... she was a little shaky. So doc put her on some antibiotics before the delivery. That’s when she got worse. Every week she was sick.. it seemed like just a cold but I could tell it was something more. Then we found ourselves back at the doctors office days before her scheduled due date. This time, (chuckles) yeah.. the news wasn’t so great. She said that my wife should go in for a ct scan because something was happening in her lungs. Obviously that wasn’t possible because of the baby and all but she said that a ultrasound will give us some information as to what was going on; even if it didn’t show all the details. So we got the ultrasound and from what the radiologist could see there was build up on her lungs… Then she um said that it could be black lung disease. I have been bringing home silica dust from the site and she was breathing it in… thank god my baby was okay. But they said they’d have to do a c section on the baby before any harm got to her. Then after my wife got stronger they would try to fight this… but um she died while having the baby (crying). After that my in-laws insisted on suing Trans Canada but they should really be trying to send me away. I killed the only thing I had to live for. My daughter has to be under the care of her grandparents in the states where my wife was from. They said I have to find a new place to live and new employment before I can bring her back home but I, I just don’t know what to do. So throw me in jail I have nothing left.