Appendix 1

These are not in any particular order because they often combine to create larger problems.

  • Drought: when there isn’t enough water crops can’t grow. When there are no crops in the ground fertile topsoil blows away, making it harder to grow crops even when there is sufficient water.
  • Floods: plants drown if there is too much water, and similarly to droughts, soil can wash away and damage the fields.
  • High oil prices: this makes fertilizers and pesticides needed to grow crops very expensive so farmers have a hard time growing their own crops. Also, it makes transporting imported food expensive and less accessible to the poor.
  • Pests: locusts are bugs that swarm over crops and can destroy fields in a matter of hours.
  • Conflicts: fighting can destroy the fields or force people to give food to soldiers. Conflicts are often fought over environmental factors such as water access, which only exacerbates the existing problem.
  • Disease: people are more susceptible to disease when they are hungry and they are less able to farm or have the income available for food.
  • Lack of infrastructure: when there aren’t good roads or wells to water or transport food it becomes very expensive and less accessible to the poor.
  • Environmental degradation: overgrazing and overcropping cause high salt levels in the soil and desertification where soil becomes too thin and dry to support crops.

Appendix 2

Dear Senator [name],

I am [age] years old and I am concerned about the state of the world I am inheriting. Climate change is causing damage that affects everyone, but the US is not taking enough action to prevent it. I fully support the Climate Protection Act (S. 332) as an important step to reduce our carbon emissions. I hope that you will support this act and do all you can to move it into law. The environment depends on our action.

Thank you,

[printed name]

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