I am looking around, I see nature’s beauty in the sparkling creek, in blooming wildflowers and dancing insects.
Beautiful birdsong touches my soul.
Soft sunrays caress my cheeks.
All is well. But is it?
Before I was even born, scientists as well as politicians and heads of industry knew about climate change. They knew, and not just decided not to act, but to actively blur the necessity to act.
I turned 25 not even a month ago. That is one quarter of a century as my dad would tell me in his birthday note.
For more than my entire life, we know that the climate is changing because of human activities.
As I look around, I observe the ongoing trend of increasing greenhouse gas emissions, environmental pollution, and production and consumption of unnecessary goods – as if there was no problem at all.
Why is there still a flight from Stockholm to Goteborg when there is an amazing three-hour train connection?
Why do people still dream to earn millions on the cost of others in order to park 10 expensive cars in their garage?
Why are there children growing up in mega cities that will not go for a hike in nature before they even graduate?
Why are billionaires flying into space, emitting hundreds of tonnes of CO2 emissions? – This single adventure emits more greenhouse gasses than a single human being is supposed to emit in their lifetime in a +1.5 °C world – or the amount of greenhouse gas emission that average global citizens emit throughout approximately 62 years!
We think this one action does not make a difference.
Why should I change, if others don’t?
Why should I give up on my habits?
Why should I change my nutrition?
Why should I change my mode of mobility?
Why should I change my vote?
Why should I change my job to a sustainable field,
if I am comfortable with the status quo?
Why should I manage my company differently,
if others in the industry benefit from abusing humans and the environment?
Why should I change my businesses’ goals?
Why should I change my priorities?
I don’t have the answer.
Maybe for your health?
Maybe to have peace in life?
Maybe for your kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews?
Maybe because you once saw that colorful fish when you were snorkeling,
maybe you say that beautiful bird on your walk in the forest,
maybe you went swimming in a freezing lake up in the mountains,
maybe you want to preserve nature’s treasures.
Maybe because you would much rather hear kids’ laughter playing on the streets than the noise of yet another passing car looking for a parking spot.
Maybe because you no longer want to contribute to destroying our home!
For many people, there is a thunderstorm brewing.
While some of us only feel the first raindrops, others are already drenched.
The impacts of climate change can be felt. Now.
Climate change is unfair. It is unjust.
The richest percent parties on yachts and uses private jets as their preferred mode of transportation.
The richest ten percent statistically emit as much greenhouse gas emissions as one person should emit per year by taking one or two return flights.
The “poorest” half(!) of the global population contributed close to nothing to climate change. Nevertheless, the global south, people living in poverty, indigenous peoples, minorities, and women in general are most likely to suffer the most from climate change impacts: Droughts. Sea level rise. Storms. Erosion. Heavy rain. Floods.
Climate change is unjust.
Some countries do not account for the emissions caused by their military, so that there is a gap in greenhouse gas accounting.
Some companies are supposedly worth millions and billions of dollars and very few people benefit from it whilst there are so many exploited by some of their activities.
Why do we accept it, why don’t we question it?
The climate does not care who emitted greenhouse gas emissions, in what country they were emitted and why they were emitted.
The only thing the climate cares about is natural sciences. Physics. Chemistry. A higher concentration of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and all the other greenhouse gasses results in a stronger greenhouse gas effect.
Climate change does not care, if an entire country must leave their home,
if kids that were born on the Fiji Islands will never know what it feels like to live there because we failed in limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre industrial levels.
Climate change is unjust.
The earth will keep spinning no matter what we do, but our livelihood will change.
We actively destroy our homes right now.
The climate cannot care.
It is us humans that can care!
We should care!
We have to care!
There are so many ways to imagine a more peaceful, beautiful, and happy future. A future that allows us to replace stress with calm and happiness.
When was the last time you felt really happy?
What was it that made you feel happy at that moment?
When I imagine a positive future,
I see kids playing outside instead of cars parked there,
I see fruit trees and community gardens in cities,
I see people living in harmony with nature,
I see all kinds of species, animals and plants flourishing,
I see people coming together to play music, dance and enjoy themselves,
I see peace, respect, and equality,
I see happiness.
We can make it happen!