There are many reasons people give for not caring about climate change, and we understand. The huge, amorphous, seemingly unsurmountable idea of a force so large and out of our control is daunting and nearly impossible to wrap our minds around. But, that doesn’t mean our go-to defense should be to shut down, and pretend it does not exist.
We might not realize it, but there are many things every single one of us can do to abate the damage that is being done to our planet. There is in fact hope in this seemingly endless tunnel of ruination. Just listen to the poem this woman read at the UN Climate Summit.
The poem’s author, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, is a resident of the Marshall Islands, a group of islands located in the North Pacific. Climate scientists predict that these islands (and many others) will be completely submerged in the coming years due to climate change.
Filled with conviction, Jetnil-Kijiner speaks to her new born child, Matafele Peinem, telling her that the world is going to stand up to protect her future. “We are drawing the line here and we are going to fight…we are canoes blocking coal ships, we are the radiance of solar villages, we are the rich clean soil of the farmers past, we are petitions blooming from teenage fingertips…chanting for change now.”
The tides are turning, and the world is waking up to the damage that has been wrought at the hands of greedy industry, political gridlock, and broken bureaucracy. It is time we stood up and rallied together to protect the places and people we love from the dismal future we are creating for them.
As Jetnil-Kijiner tells her daughter,”We deserve to do more than just survive, we deserve to thrive.”
It is time we take responsibility for the consequences our actions have and take action, because we all deserve a chance to thrive.