Anjali Appadurai, from the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Me, was chosen to represent hundreds of youth delegates at the United Nations International Negotiations on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa. She spoke forcefully yet eloquently to government representatives, telling them: “You have been negotiating all my LIFE!” A wake up call if there ever was one…..!
Grab the kids in your life, take 5 minutes and listen, as Anjali speaks for all of us, unafraid, defiant and to the point. As the President of the Durban meeting ponders aloud at the conclusion of her speech: “Ms. Appadurai, as a representative for ½ the world’s population, why have we waited until the end of the conference to listen to your words?” Why indeed?
As parents, we need to join our youth and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE. We need to move beyond these international negotiations and take action into our own hands. We need to work at all levels of government and civil society and stand up and fight; we need to fight for our children’s future and our own. We can’t wait until 2020 we need action now! Check out our Climate Mama “Campaign” page for ways you can get involved. Create change in your own community, and make things happen. Show your children you care, you understand and regardless of the odds, you ARE going to do something!This year’s annual United Nations coordinated international negotiations on Climate Change ended on December 10th in Durban, South Africa with a “ray” of hope but no real or binding promises. Governments have effectively “kicked the can” forward. The plan is to begin working on a new agreement for 2015 that covers ALL countries and works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels that will keep our planet from warming more than 2 degrees C. The reality is that this agreement then could take another 5 years to ratify. This decision from governments is seen by many as way too little and way too late. Scientists are shouting and science is showing us that if we wait that long to do something about emissions, many of the worst scenarios for our planet will play out.
Way back in the early 1990’s our own Climate Mama was involved with UN negotiations when Agenda 21 was crafted and became the first joint commitment by governments to work together on climate change solutions. The 1992 Earth Summit was our first joint international recognition that climate change was happening and humans were causing it. There was cautious but hopeful optimism that countries could effectively and together fight and win this battle we were in against our changing climate. Fast forward 20 years and we still don’t have a binding agreement by governments to address climate change. Science has caught up to and surpassed government fancy prose and agreements and we now see climate change in action. Our planet is showing us many fingerprints of evidence and scientists are documenting humankind’s direct role in changing our planet’s climate. Our Earth isn’t waiting for us to decide when the right time for action will be. It is showing us that this time is NOW and if we don’t act soon, it very well will be too late.
Rage against the machine, indeed. And yet many parents are NOT raging, they are asleep at the wheel. I’m afraid things are going to have to get dire indeed before many North Americans are willing to make the changes necessary to address this crisis. But a price on carbon (with a dividend back to citizens, not corporations or govt) would be an excellent way to start!
Agreed on all counts. I think fighting for a price on carbon is what we should all be working towards, and will then through market mechanisms help reduce our dependance on fossil fuels..Good plan, good advice!