Title

Julian’s Climate Story 

Name

Julian Brubaker

Place

Everglades National Park, 33194

How are you sensing climate change?

As a kid, I visited Everglades a lot and just loved the birds, gators, and rare monkeys (the monkeys were not in the park but in nearby conservatories). The park does a good job of constructing walkways so that visitors can get quite close to the wildlife, and park rangers do a good job of explaining animals’ behavior and interactions with their environment. Park informational material almost NEVER mentions the phrase “climate change” let alone “climate collapse,” but they do describe the many shifts to the environment: for example, a depleting watershed due to human overconsumption, rising sea levels, & increased natural disasters (which sadly made extinct the small colonies of monkeys). I had not visited Everglades in over a decade until this past winter, and the changes I saw firsthand were stark. The wildlife is already less diverse. Nonnative species are taking over. Ranger and research stations are being rebuilt following intense coastal storms, and others are being left in disrepair because the sea will swallow them in the coming years. I remember feeding the monkeys bananas from my hands as a child (shh, don’t tell PETA) but now they’re completely gone from the ecosystem. Lost biodiversity is not only sad & nostalgic, it’s also a direct detriment to human research. Roseate spoonbills are far less common, which is not only a disruption in the natural, rosy beauty of the Everglades but a disruption to natural cycles of grazing and predation. One magical moment when I revisited this past winter was watching the sunset from the tip of the Florida coast near the keys, glancing up in surprise as I heard the rushing wind & beating wings of a flock of spoonbills flying just overhead. These magical moments are fleeting and irreversibly in decline.

How do these changes make you feel?

So so bittersweet. This oasis that I loved as a child, and learned so much from, and was excited & enriched so much from, is now changing in front of my very eyes. It will never be the same. Much will be lost. My children will never experience the same Everglades as I, if they can even experience the park at all. Luckily, I’ve taken a few photos that I can share as a poor imitation of the breathtaking beauty of the Everglades.

Collection

 

Citation

 

Everglades National Park, 33194

Ikym’s Story

Through my health and home.

Emma’s Story

Holding infant-me, my parents huddled on the kitchen floor in order to avoid the windows. Because of the raging hurricanes in the summer of 2004…

Rachel’s Story

Ohio was home for the first eighteen years of my life. Since leaving it, however, it has become refuge.

Emma’s Story

When I awoke on the morning of September 9, 2020. I was extremely confused. My bedroom was almost completely dark, which was, of course, very unusual…

Nic’s Story

I was born in France but barely ever lived there. However every winter I go back there to celebrate Christmas…

Tristan’s Story

My family has a cabin in Kentucky. When my dad was growing up, they would do the usual drive…

Anastasiia’s Story

The weather discrepancies during the same season throughout years.

Carolina’s Story

A few days after arriving in Portugal from Brazil for a one-year study period, I experienced a small…

Alejandro’s Story

Bogotá used to be much colder, and with constant rain (volume and frequency)…

Denise’s Story

There is a big water scarcity problem in my city.

Browse All Stories