Inspiring action and displays of non-violent civil disobedience by the Youth Strikers for the Climate and Extinction Rebellion, in a nationwide strike to demand more action from government and policymakers and industry to combat climate change:
In the past, I thought that it wasn't my style to be the placard-wielding, tree-hugging environmentalist. I liked to be that person that engaged other folks by asking questions; and leaving the activist groups to do the more radical approach.
But we need different ways to communicate: one, to wake people up, and the other, to constructively come up with ways to tackle the world's most pressing problems together.
In the words of Greta Thunberg in her Instagram post about the strike, "This week well over 100 000 school children were on strike for the climate!! British PM says that the children on school strike are “wasting lesson time”. That may well be the case. But then again, political leaders have wasted 30 yrs of inaction. And that is slightly worse..."
We have 11 years to take action to avoid more catastrophic impacts of climate change. And we need to do a lot more than bring your own water bottle or coffee cup. While I believe that daily lifestyle changes do matter, we also need to challenge ourselves to find ways to tackle the bigger, systemic problems in industry, governance and society.
Educate yourself. Demand more sustainable products and services from companies. Cast your votes for political leaders who understand these issues and are willing to put in the work to address them. Get more involved in your local community / barangay. Take to the streets in peaceful protest with other groups spearheading a movement.
Be nice, but get angry when it's called for / when repeated attempts remain unheard, and call people out on their bullshit. :)
Climate change is not an issue to be put on the backburner because "we have other more pressing problems to fix". Those problems won't matter if we don't have an inhabitable planet PLUS a lot of the problems in poverty, education and unemployment (which many have previously ranked as top priorities) can be and *should be* fixed in conjunction with solutions for climate change.
We need to be able to create jobs that don't sacrifice people's health or ruin the communities in which they live. We need to educate everyone, the youth especially, about climate change, social justice, good governance, and longer term thinking that the older generations have failed to do. We can fix this. We just need to keep trying, and trying harder.