We live in a world controlled by money, greed and power.
A world where every single decision that is made determines the kind of world future generations are going to inherit from us. A world built off of the lie that the Earth is a resource for our taking. A world built off a fragile mindset that says we are determined by our wealth, our social class and the amount of power we have.
The good thing about a fragile mindset like that is it can be broken, reshaped and then formed into a whole new way of thinking that no one imagined possible. Since the Industrial Revolution, we began to destroy our natural resources and take the earth for granted. We believed that our resources would never run out.
The rivers were polluted with toxic waste, the air was fouled with industrial chemicals, and that’s when people began to see evidence of the destruction of the Earth, and the depletion of its resources.
A movement to protect our rivers and the air erupted in the 1960s and 1970s, with massive demonstrations and people in the streets. For the ?rst time in history, people had an awareness about the damage that was being done to the environment. And above that, they knew that this movement would make a difference.
Out of this movement came the ?rst international Earth Day, which was a “voice” for the Earth. But since then, the environmental movement has quieted down. With all the “wins” in local communities there has been a lack of effort behind making greater strides against global issues.
With ecosystems collapsing and the crisis that looms many people have become numb and drifted into an unconsciousness state. As the Earth’s climate is dramatically changing, causing greater storms, hurricanes, ?oods, droughts, and many more severe natural disasters, humankind is being forced back into action.
My generation is being pushed into a battle that is not our own. The greed, the consumptive lifestyles, the mindset that the Earth is a tool, a resource, has driven mankind to the greatest challenge that our society has ever come to face: A global climate crisis.
We have over?shed our oceans, destroyed the coral reefs, wiped out our forests and caused the greatest mass extinction of plant and animal species since the age of the dinosaurs. We are running out of resources, but even more so, we are running out of time to respond to the dire state of our planet. We have lost more than 50 percent of our sea ice in the last 30 years, 97 percent of Greenland’s surface ice melted last June, and in 2013, there was less Arctic sea ice in the history of the Earth’s documentation. Our oceans are acidifying at alarming rates, and global sea levels are rising.
This is no longer just about the rivers, or the environment, this is about the survival of the human race. We face the most urgent threat of our time, and this has driven us to a point where the choices that we make will determine whether our species will continue. This crisis has captured our attention and has reawakened the environmental movement across the globe.
As the youngest generation, we have the most to lose; therefore, we are at the front lines of this war, ?ghting for our survival and that of future generations. This resurgence has hit hard and a youth-led revolution is emerging from the shadow of the ?rst environmental movement.
Young people are taking action and challenging the decisions of leaders all across the globe; asking them to put our future before corporate pro?ts and end the reign of fossil fuels that are destroying our very own life support systems.
There were 8,000 youth at Power Shift in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, battling climate change. There were youth from 110 countries at the Rio+20 UN summit in Brazil, urging world leaders to come to a decision on their response to climate change. And there were youth from 90 countries at the Copenhagen summit. The resurgence is on the rise.
Real change will come from the people, not leaders, or politicians, or governors. It is time that we all join this wave of change for the survival of future generations. We, the youth, are the dominant force on this planet. We are leading the resurgence.