The single resource that is aiding your life is being brutally damaged. Your dreams, aspiration, and ambitions are at stake. Your future is being deeply compromised. Why? The climate is changing- dramatically.
Humans are filling the earth with a MASSIVE amount of Greenhouse Gases. These are released from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal. As insignificant as it seems, this is destroying water and food sources, drying up the rivers but also making the levels of the sea rise, resulting in extremely hot and cold weather with sometimes less rain or very heavy rain. Essentially, our Earth is behaving in a strange and unprecedented manner. Scariest of all, our world leaders aren’t taking this seriously and doing anything to stop this. In 10 years, the effects of climate change could be completely irreversible.
Industries and businesses that release large amounts of greenhouse gases such as coal-generated electricity are making their profits from literally destroying the earth and people’s lives. In South Africa’s case, we’ve experienced the drought in the Cape, the flooding in Kwa-Zulu Natal and most recently Covid-19. We’re also seeing a sharp rise in the cost of living and economic decline. Life is becoming more difficult.
Climate change is THE defining threat of our time thus we need to take radical, drastic and urgent measure to protect humanity- you, I, your mother, partner, and their dog. But the youth will be most severely affected. Thus, it becomes a great responsibility of ours to repair the Earth.
The youth should seek to galvanize itself into concerted Climate Action. Guess what? By reading this, you’ve participated in some climate action- you’ve gained some knowledge about the climate crisis. The next step could be to share this knowledge or research any questions that might have come up for you. This Youtube Video is a good start to introducing people to Climate Change.
Once you find yourself taking these basic steps, you can encourage more people to become aware of the implications of climate crisis who can then also take action! It will take all 7 billion people of the world collectively adapting their lifestyles to fully combat climate change. These lifestyle changes could be eating less meat and using fewer plastic bags.
Here are some guidelines on how to speak to kids about climate change are perhaps the most helpful. These include:
Kids aged 4-6: Be a good role model
– Talk about the environmentally-friendly things you do every day, like recycling, riding your bike, choosing public transport or having a more plant-based diet.
– By taking green action together now, you will have great answers as to how you fight climate change when your child is old enough to ask.
– Children rely on their parents. Don’t lie to them about the problems but always reassure your child that there are grown-ups handling the issues and keep your own concerns to yourself.
Kids aged 7-8: Instill hope and stay positive
– When asked a climate-related question, make sure you understand which answer your child is searching for to avoid letting your own concerns affect your answer.
– If you want to start a conversation about climate change yourself, start by asking ‘What do you know about climate change?’
– Don’t lie to them about the problems.
This kind of collective action will present a brilliant opportunity for us to connect with our peers, families, communities and the larger world by essentially recycling and minimizing wastage of stuff such as food and water.
More than this — WE COULD SAVE THE PLANET AND ALL LIVE BETTER LIVES!!
Raeesah Noor-Mohammed (17)
Munnira Katongole (16)