I stand, deep within a thick forest. The air is damp here, a heady, earthy scent, released by the trees. I take their cool breath, deeply into my lungs. A golden orange butterfly flits past my eyes, skimming the tops of dappled flowers. High up, a pair of brightly coloured parrots call to each other, making their nest in an ancient hollow. Beneath my feet, the ground crawls with the world of insects and fungi. A fallen tree continues to offer much to the living, despite its own downfall.
I walk across soft sand, littered with teeny tiny shells, once housing creatures that zig-zagged across ocean floors. Piles of seaweed, dumped by the last tide, have settled themselves along the top of the beach. Above me, flocks of seagulls circle, staring at me with their dark eyes, to see if I have brought scraps. They push and shove greedily against each other. In comparison, the pelicans sit in silence, heads against their backs, turned towards the wind. They stay together, watching everything. They know when Bill from number 6 will come down with the fish heads from his catch. They rise as one, walking in their gangling way, to open their cavernous beaks and receive their rewards. When they take flight, they are achingly beautiful and filled with none of their earth-bound awkwardness.
These are the things we take for granted – clean air, warm beach sand, cooling oceans. We take for granted the fact that we can walk outside, bathe in the sea, dance under the stars on a summer’s night. We take for granted, that despite the science that tells us this is all in danger, for now, it is here.
“How can something so terrible be happening when there is still so much beauty in the world?” we say, “How can it be?”
It is almost impossible to imagine what the world is going to be like in 50 or 100 years. What will future generations be facing when they look outside their doors? What will it be like for them to live in a world that is so unstable, they must hang on for their dear lives?
We are not facing possible climate change, it is happening now and it is only going to get worse, no matter what we do. There is an inevitability. Yet, there is hope. There is always hope. We can reduce, hold back, the way our lives will impact those in the future. We can all take as many steps as possible and we can raise our voices and take action against those in power to change our emissions. If we do this now, we can ensure a future that is better.
All of the environmental issues matter – ocean pollution, single-use plastics, reducing animal habitats – everything matters. But our climate emergency is the critical factor underpinning life itself. If we continue to create emissions at current rates, we are doomed. The science is crystal clear. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agreed in its report on 1.5ºC that no new coal can be built, and existing coal must be phased out, with coal being one of the biggest historical contributors to the global catastrophe we are facing now.
We have the solutions. We just need these to be implemented, at all levels.
September 20 – Take the day off to demand climate justice for everyone.
We are already experiencing devastation from the impacts of the climate emergency. Erratic weather patterns, the worst drought on record, fires, floods. Animals and people are dying, communities are collapsing. If we don’t act NOW to transition fairly and swiftly, away from coal, oil and gas, to 100% renewable energy, things are very dire indeed.
Everyone must act as one, in order to enable this to happen. Join us on September 20 – three days out from the UN’s Emergency Climate Summit – by taking the day off school, uni or work, to show our politicians that we’re serious about climate action. Your voice matters. Our children matter. The future matters. Don’t be someone who closed their eyes to the reality, because it was too hard, or wasn’t your responsibility. It is our responsibility. Believe in the science, believe in the facts, believe in each other.
Join us and do whatever you can, for our children, and all living creatures on this beautiful, delicate blue planet we have been gifted. Dance on the sand, stare at the stars, breathe in the forests. Imagine future generations doing the same. Don’t take it away from them. Act now, before it is too late.
Head here for details