What Am I Scared Of?
Today my teacher started off the class a bit differently than any other day. He talked about the United States, which I know doesn’t sound weird at all considering that’s where we are, but in European history class, the United States isn’t something we like to look at. He said he had trouble sleeping, and barely slept at all, because what kept him awake worried him more than being sleep deprived in the morning. What worried him more was the news, and now it worries me because I realized in the midst of silence in the room, and the sudden drop in our stomachs, that these things were real and as far away as they were, they wouldn’t stay that way.
I am scared of a lot of things. There are the minor fears, the personal fears and of course the global fears. I cannot say my fear of spiders comes close to anything that haunts me today.
Most people are not batting an eye at Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Irma is one of the strongest storms ever to be recorded in the Atlantic. It is now a category five hurricane with winds of 185 mph sustaining for more than 24 hours. It is almost two times larger than Hurricane Harvey that hit Texas, Louisiana, Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, the Yucatan Peninsula, and the Windward Islands just last week, and only recently ended. A hurricane half the power of Irma just wiped out the lower region of Texas. Half the power. Irma has started its path of terror with the Caribbean. Hurricane Irma has destroyed 90 percent of Barbuda. Hurricane Irma is expected to hit Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos, Cuba, the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama. And so many people who don’t live in this portion of the United States, are not thinking much about it, because why be scared of something that won’t hit you?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, with a budget of almost $2 billion, is down more than half now. They are expected to go bankrupt this Friday. Since Hurricane Harvey, the spending rate of FEMA has been about $9 million every hour. Congress is voting today on funding for Harvey and the possibility of $8 billion in additional funds to FEMA.
This past weekend, San Francisco set a new record in all time temperature highs and is still staying very warm. On Friday, San Francisco hit a high of 106 degrees breaking a previous high of 103 degrees set in 2000. Just for comparison, 106 is only 10 degrees colder than Death Valley was on Friday. Death Valley is one of the hottest places in the United States.
So here it is, here’s climate change, and weather conditions today may become the norm. It could take us years to rebuild and to repay for all the damages, and it doesn’t help with an economy that might just collapse.
DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is an immigration policy, allowing immigrants that entered the country as minors without the proper paperwork to receive a two year period of deferred action from deportation. As of 2017 DACA has 800,000 members. On September 5th, the Trump administration announced its final decision to end DACA. The decision would mean the removal of 800,00 immigrants that came to the United States as children. Children. Children who came to the United States because their parents wanted a better life for them. Children who have been raised here will be sent “home”, a place they probably aren’t even familiar with. Children who may or may not even remember where they came from. Repealing DACA has a possibility of revenue loss of almost $60 billion that goes to the government, a loss of roughly $280 billion in the next ten years. $280 billion.The United States debt stands at about $19 trillion as of today, and this repeal will have a significant impact. Many are protesting against the Trump Administration’s decision, a coalition of 16 Democratic states have even gone as far as to file a lawsuit against him.
Artificial Intelligence, has become another posing threat to our economy and our world. With the advancements of AI, jobs will disappear, and people will become useless. AI’s will be taking some of our highest paid positions first and ending with teachers, athletes, and artists.
I am scared of a lot of things, and I should be, but I should also be thinking big. This falls on the next generation, which happens to be mine, and what are we going to do with it? I don’t know about everyone else, but I don’t know what the future will look like. I don’t have a clear image in my mind, all I can do is hope that we even have the smallest chance to fix it. You don’t have to be a genius, and you don’t have to get the highest score on a test, you just have to make sure you understand, because funny enough it’s not always the top percentile from an ivy league who does something.