Podnebna kriza ima katastrofalne razsežnosti. Časa za ukrepanje je vedno manj. Odgovorni, ki bi morali temu problemu nameniti največjo mero resnosti, pa so podrejeni interesom kapitala. Trajnost je prioriteta le na papirju.
V nadaljevanju prispevek Suzie Vanoosten, v katerem razmišlja o nujnosti stopnjevanja protestnih aktivnosti po vsem svetu in o tem zakaj je tako pomembno, da se tudi sami udeležimo protestov ter aktivno soustvarjamo podnebno gibanje . Suzie prihaja iz Francije in je med februarjem in junijem aktivna pri Focusu kot pripravnica. Prispevek je v angleškem jeziku.
Global Climate Strike on March 3rd : why must we continue supporting those initiatives by the youth?
“Tomorrow is too late”. Here is the explicit slogan used by the youth movement Fridays for Future to promote their next global strike planned for next Friday (March 3rd ). Having young people demonstrating in streets on Fridays throughout the world is not an isolated thing since 2018. Indeed, this initiative, inaugurated that year by the young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, to protest about the Swedish government’s inaction towards environmental issues, led thousands of young people to lead the same actions in their own countries. A practice that soon became a sort of tradition. Leading young people to still marching on streets in 2023.
Of course, in an idealistic and utopic ways of considerate things, this should not have become a tradition. There should not be Fridays’ protests needed anymore. But we must face the situation as it is: since 2018, some things have evolved and changed, partly thanks to these initiatives led by young people; but, in the meantime, things have even become more critical and more urgent. The temperatures becoming abnormally high, droughts and forests fires becoming more common, just as much as floods and storms, and so on. Many critically dangerous projects for the environment led by big companies (such as Total Energies in Uganda and Tanzania) are still a reality too. Thus, young people have still many reasons to cordon the streets of. Our support to them must stay constant and unbreakable, precisely because the situation has become more than urgent. “Tomorrow is too late”.
Why does the youth remain essential to our inherited collective fight for the planet?
Young people are crucial because we (being 21, I include myself in that group) are this generation that is the first to live the consequences of climate change, but also the last generation that can do something about it, as excellently expressed by the French climate activist, Camille Étienne. We represent the future. We are those who do not have a choice anymore. And we perfectly know it: while considering our future, we almost automatically include the environmental issues in it. Thus, we are in a way those who are the best suited to envision a specific future that would strengthen our chances to avoid some of the disastrous consequences of climate change. And, for that, we consider strong environmental, social, educational, and financial measures. We know for sure that leaving one of this point ignored would lead to unfulfilled and deficient changes, unable to guarantee a viable future.
This way, those profound reflections led by the youth (to foresee how to prevent our future from being as much frightening as it will be if we keep acting poorly like this…) allow that same youth to reach a deep strength to confront those who do not act as they should to make things better. Those who keep questioning the scientific predictions. Those who prefer ignoring the urgency. They have the courage to say “Enough!” and to face the irresponsible persons. Like this French activist from the collective Dernière rénovation (“Last renovation”) who irrupted, in silence, on the stage of the famous cinematographic César ceremony with a t-shirt saying “We have 761 days left” (in reference to the last IPCC’s report). Without those type of actions, how could it be possible to raise awareness? How could we make things change? How could we hold our governments, the big companies, and polluters, responsible? How could we encourage a more desirable future? A powerful collective action is still more than necessary, and the youth have understood this perfectly. Because “tomorrow is too late”.
Why it matters to take part to those types of events?
Above all, those events are essential for one big reason: to raise awareness. Without those demonstrations and the efforts made by the youth to highlight the degree of emergency of the climate crisis since 2018, we would be probably less conscious about those critical issues. Our governments and those who could significantly do something about it would be less conscious about it, keeping considering that our action could be postponed. But “tomorrow is too late” and the youth will endlessly continue to push this fact to the forefront. In this way, we must ceaselessly contribute to their crucial effort to raise awareness, especially by demonstrating by their side: the more people, the more the impact will be great.
But what is also deeply important about contributing to this effort is what it brings from a personal point of view: it is also about doing something that does make sense. Something that will grant you the possibility, as an active part of the community, to bring a better and more sustainable society. Something that can give a deep meaning to a daily life punctuated by a sense of powerlessness regarding the world’s degradation. Yes, demonstrating among people can be that powerful and beneficial.
In the meantime, participating in those demonstrations is also a way to encourage the work or initiatives led by the youth (or not) organizations that do their best to enable a better and viable future. We must help them to gain the visibility they desperately need and deserve because, without their work, our hopes and perspectives about our future would surely be worse. For that matter, if you do not have the time or the possibility to lead a project or devote yourself to one, participating occasionally to those types of demonstrations or events can already make a huge difference.
Thus, to devote some of your time to take part to a demonstration condemning a system that leads us to our demise is never a bad idea. In fact, it can only provide you beneficial things: on a personal point of view, but also by showing some support to the action of those who throw themselves body and soul into this combat to guarantee a better future for us all. Go demonstrate on March 3rd . Because “tomorrow is too late”.