“We humans need to do better.” That’s the sentiment Nahzeer Sandets, 12, shared in response to the question above. His drawing illustrates his bleak outlook on earth’s future, and he’s not alone—the environment, the fate of animals, and the perils to our planet consume the thoughts and imaginations of the next generation.
TIME for Kids, the weekly classroom edition produced by TIME editors, asked young students to draw their view of the planet 30 years from now. Their art, a sampling of which is shown below, depicts a full spectrum of childlike outrage, fear and optimism. And while their anxiety arcs through the art in the form of angry suns and barren land, they also pour their passion onto the page. And that passion gives us hope—in the future, the artists will be the people in charge. —Andrea Delbanco, editor-in-chief of TIME for Kids
Special thanks to the American International School in Hong Kong and to ProjectArt for help sourcing some of artwork seen here. ProjectArt partners with public libraries to provide free after-school art classes to youth in historically underserved neighborhoods in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit, New Orleans and Pittsburgh. Find out how you can support arts education for kids at ProjectArt.org.
The original version of this story misattributed an artwork to Rieyan Zoha, age 9. It is by Dylan Lee, age 8.
This is one article in a series on the state of the planet’s response to climate change. Read the rest of the stories and sign up for One.Five, TIME’s climate change newsletter.
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