“Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope. But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.”
These are words from Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swede who started a global movement demanding immediate action to tackle global warming.
Switch off the light when you leave the room. Take the bus. Eat less meat.
Individual actions are important, but small changes have a limited impact. Stark changes may sound more powerful, but in the end, they won’t be enough either. Besides, how can you ask people to alter drastically their way of life when those in power seem more intent in wasting millions in climate conferences than in actually doing anything effective?
Last Friday, thousands of young people walked out of school and gathered all around the planet for what might be the biggest global demonstration event ever. I will confess it, they gave me hope.