Summer Rayne Oakes
Born near Scranton in 1984...
Same age as my oldest daughter...
When I was born,
Nature was already dying.
At the age of five,
Only half of the wetlands in the US remained.
When I was only ten,
Almost half of the world's forests had been destroyed.
By the time I was twenty,
The world's oceans had over 400 dead zones
Where no life could be supported.
When I turned twenty six,
Tens of billions of pollenating insects had died worldwide.
By the time I am forty,
Half of the Amazon Rainforest will be eliminated.
By the time I am fifty,
Lions will be extinct in the wild.
By the time I am sixty,
Many of the world's glaciers will have disappeared.
By the time I am seventy,
Ninety five percent of the world's coral reefs will have died off.
By the time I am eighty,
Two billion people will not have access to clean water.
By the time I am ninety,
Nine billion people will live on the planet,
It would take three entire Earths to sustain them,
We will not even have one.
By the time I leave this Earth,
The Nature I knew and loved,
Will be gone.
"And our small planet, at this moment, here we face a critical branch-point in the history. What we do with our world, right now, will propagate down through the centuries and powerfully affect the destiny of our descendants. It is well within our power to destroy our civilization, and perhaps our species as well.
But, we are also capable of using our compassion and our intelligence, our technology and our wealth, to make an abundant and meaningful life for every inhabitant of this planet. To enhance enormously our understanding of the Universe,
and to carry us to the stars."