“You all come to us young people for hope. How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. People are suffering, dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!!”
Those were the heart-wrenching words spoken by a teary-eyed Greta Thunberg at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019, as she called out all the world leader for their lax attitude towards climate change and for the inadequate policies proposed by them regarding the same. The now 17-yr old is climate change activist working against the looming threat of global warming. Licpriya Kangujam, a 9-yr old activist from India has been protesting in front of the parliament, demanding stricter environment laws and compulsory climate education in schools. Young people all over the world are voicing their opinion about climate change and urging others to take a stand as well. The polar ice-caps are melting because of the air pollution we are creating and the global temperature is rising year by year, we have reached a point of global crisis when it comes to climate change.
But why is it that only the youth is working to stop this changing the climate?
Well, it’s because we have the most to lose. Millennials and Gen Z are going to be facing the consequences of actions taken by the previous generations and it is this fear that makes us such ardent advocates of climate change. But now is not the time to blame, now is the time to take action. We are just as responsible as the older generation, or the Baby-boomers as they are called, when it comes to damaging the environment. But unlike them, we now have options….Options to choose eco-friendly alternatives to some environmentally detrimental actions.
Previously, we relied on fossil fuels and coal, this non-renewable source of energy was consumed rampantly and without any thought which has led to an increase in the greenhouse gases today. But now we have solar power which is a far more sustainable source of energy and can be directly harnessed from the sun. A developing country like ours is also facing the brunt of this changing climate. Due to unseasonal rain causing floods and extreme weather like hurricanes and cyclones, the backbone of our country, our farmers are suffering. The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) was adopted in 2008 with the goal to promote more efficient use of water and the use of solar power. India took another step towards fighting for climate change by signing the Paris Agreement in 2016. The aim of said agreement was to keep the rise in global temperature below 2ºC per year, reduce consumption of coal and develop more sustainable, eco-friendly sources of energy. And although we are trying our best to reduce the use of single-use plastic, reduce air pollution, and develop more eco-friendly farming and animal husbandry practices, we are still nowhere near to the target that would have a considerable effect on reducing the climate change.
So, it’s up to us to make the change. Travel more by public transport and try to reduce the use of private vehicles, use cloth bags instead of plastic and use water responsibly. Every step counts! Explore the brave new world of veganism! It might sound intimidating at first but animal products and byproducts are largely responsible for the production of greenhouse gases and excess use of water. So cutting down animal products can help in reducing the damage caused by climate change. We have clearly seen the devastating effects of climate variations in the form of forest fires, hurricanes and rising sea levels. Thus, climate change is inevitable and on-going and the time to act on it is now!
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