Part 1 –
Children take action on climate change
When God created the world, He assigned human beings to take care of His wonderful creation. It was purely a gift, a gift beyond compare. Humans received this gift in gratitude and we were supposed to nourish it and protect it. Instead of caring for it and protecting it, it is obvious that we have plundered God’s creation. As a result, we have disturbed the equilibrium that existed in creation from time immemorial, and today we witness the symptoms of this chaos in the natural world. One such symptom is climate change.
Climate change is a global phenomenon associated with changes in weather patterns. Where before it seemed that there could be different reasons for climate change, now it is increasingly becoming clear that human activity is the key driver affecting our earth’s climate. Climate change has various impacts, their severity differing from place to place. Average global temperatures are rising, oceans are warming up and becoming more acidic. Sea ice and glaciers are melting, causing sea levels to rise. Extreme weather conditions such as floods and drought have become the order of the day. For these reasons, climate change has been identified as the defining issue of our century. However, some major world leaders do not even believe in climate change, with US president Donald Trump calling it a ‘hoax’.
While the ‘adults in the room’ wrestle with the question of whether climate change is real or not, young people have launched a crusade, initiated and inspired by a teenager, Greta Thunberg, born 3 January 2003, a world-renowned climate activist.
Part 2 –
The summer of 2018 was Sweden’s hottest in 262 years. One day in August that year, ninth-grader Thunberg decided not go to school, and launched a protest outside Sweden’s parliament, demanding that the Swedish government reduce emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement.
She protested only on Fridays, but as the protest gathered momentum, she inspired students around the globe to join her in this worthy cause. Some in the media have described her impact on the world stage as the ‘Greta Thunberg Effect’. She is a prophet of our times who draws our attention to the dark reality of the existential threat posed by climate change. Climate change is not a thing of the future. It is already happening. It has come. It is on our doorstep.
At a TEDx talk in Stockholm, she says that there are no grey areas when it comes to our survival. Either we go on as a civilisation or we don’t. She says that we need to take speedy measures to stop emissions.
In recognition of what she is doing to protect our planet, she has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
She says we can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis, even if we do not have solutions. She also goes on to say that ‘Humans are adaptable. We can fix this. But the opportunities do not last long. We must start today.’
Currently she is sailing to New York for a summit of world leaders. She chose not to fly.
She will travel from Britain to the United States on a racing boat fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines that produce electricity onboard, making her journey carbon-neutral.
In New York she will join a large-scale climate demonstration and speak at a climate action summit hosted by the head of the United Nations in New York City on 23 September. Then she will travel to attend the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference in Santiago, Chile in December.
Before she embarked on her journey she was interviewed by the media and said, “We will have a window of time when things are in our hands. But the window is closing fast. This is why I have decided to make this trip.” Bon voyage.