Since I interviewed Jamie Margolin founder of Zero Hour on Transformations Podcast, I have been actively following the Youth Climate Strike. And last Sunday I listened to their update broadcast which included over 6,800 listeners from all over the US and Mexico. Most of the listeners were youth but many like me were far from that.
Things I came away with:
1) The strikers know what they are talking about
2) They are committed
3) They will not be moved
4) They care about climate more than their own comfort
5) Many of them are still in high school and have to give up free time over and over again to do this
6) They are worthy of our respect
7) They are doing what older generations failed to do
8) They are holding governments and corporations accountable
9) They are showing us how we can do better
10) They understand that whatever the cause climate change is real
“Millions of young people from across the globe walked out of school and jammed streets in major cities, from New York to New Delhi and Santiago to San Francisco, waving protest signs with slogans like: “Every disaster movie starts with a scientist being ignored”; and “I’m ditching school because you’re ditching the planet.”
This strike is all over the world. On September 21 the youth leaders, including Greta Thunberg held high level talks at the UN.
"Even UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres sat and listened” to a panel of young people who were not only at the frontlines of the climate emergency, but also coming up with innovative ways to combat the crisis.
Fijian climate change action advocate Komal Kumar said her homeland was suffering greatly from the impact of a climate crisis it had contributed very little to creating. But people from her generation worldwide were “living in constant fear and climate anxiety … Fearing the future.” Things are black and white for us: We are not insurance policies, we are human beings, we are communities. Is it too much to ask you to walk the talk, are we really looking forward to false hope?” she asked. Stop wasting time. Stop hindering the work [towards a sustainable future] for short term profits.
Ms. Kumar, who warned: “We will hold you accountable. And if you do not remember, we will mobilize to vote you out.”
It seems that the young are doing what we did not want to do. They are standing up for what they know is true. They aren’t afraid to be uncomfortable because what they know is more compelling than personal comfort.
They are holding corporations and governments accountable when the older generations have not. They are showing us the way and now it is up to us, the older ones, to do something. To vote. To call. To write and to not go away. To let those who have been controlling our lives to know things have to and will change.
It is also becoming clear that the global emergency is impacting the poor and those non-white even more severely. That is something I think has been buried under everything else. But as we read more and listen more we will see that it is so.
One of the best things we can do is support those standing up and leading. We can inform ourselves, not just from Facebook and social media outlets. We can listen to PBS and NPR and other balanced news sources. We can research. But then we have to act. Just knowing something does nothing to change it. Action is required. Join a local group, support a candidate who isn’t afraid to take action and then hold them accountable so they do what they say. Do whatever you can but find something.
This is the time to find out who we are as a human race. To see what it is we value and what is of importance. To ask ourselves the difficult questions and be brave enough to answer truthfully.
The mask is off.
Wishing you courage and hope,
Dianne J. Shaver
Transformations, Interviewing People Changing Our World
Listen to people who are taking action and be inspired!
One Person, One Decision, One Commitment = World Changer