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December 7, 2015

Man vs. Earth.

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Being a part of the climate change movement is an emotional roller coaster.

It’s equal parts totally devastating (to realize how much influence politics, media, corporate greed and complacency plays in stalling the world from solving this problem) and equal parts incredibly inspiring (to be reminded daily that so many people have committed their lives to fight for our future and are putting everything on the line to make the world a better place for us all).

I have been traveling around Europe for the past month representing the environmental advocacy organization I work with. I have hosted and been attending various sustainable and climate conferences leading up to the Paris Climate Negotiations (COP21), and my experience so far has been that (1) you’re either preaching to the choir or (2) in a room full of people who are avoiding responsibility and obsessing over minute details like whether millennials will respond well to the words “climate change” or “carbon offset.”

I vote, although no one’s asking me… Why don’t you give us a little more credit? Stop talking and start taking action! We care about our future, probably more than you think. So please, stop standing in the way and please stop wasting our precious time.

To hear people in positions of power speak with so much authority about issues that they seem to not fully understand or appear to be choosing not to (because profit is of utmost importance in their eyes), breaks my heart and honestly terrifies me. There seems to be so much misinformation floating around and this has become a dangerous game of telephone where the message is diluted or the point is completely missed.

I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve been immersed in this conversation that fighting climate change has become the most important challenge that our world faces, but sometimes it baffles me that this isn’t registering as a critical issue. What also blows my mind is that the ground work has been done, the solutions are available, the frameworks are in place and still people are choosing to ignore the facts and let the destruction of our environment continue.

It’s frustrating to understand how critically important taking this problem seriously is and feeling like the world is turning a blind eye. Honestly, what is everyone waiting for? How are we carrying on as if this is not happening? How are we wasting time debating the problem when we will all be equally affected if we don’t act in time?

Luckily though, there are people out there who remind me that this fight is worth it.

It’s easy to get cynical about the state of the world, especially when there doesn’t seem to be a day that goes by without horrific news. I had the honor of sitting down with activist and spoken word artist, Prince Ea, last week in London and when I asked him why this message is so important for young people he said: “We have an opportunity to really evolve the human species into a new direction. A totally new direction from our past. One with mindfulness and love and care and understanding. No longer a business as usual approach.”

That’s the kind of message that inspires hope in me and motivates me to keep fighting for this cause. The following video is the second in a series where Prince Ea is asking the world to listen to Mother Nature’s screams and inspires young people to take action and be a part of the solution (through the Stand For Trees campaign):

“There’s an old saying: ‘I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.’ One person can create ripples just by changing their personal behavior and spreading these messages. Each person can indirectly affect millions and raise the consciousness of the culture.” ~ Prince Ea

About Stand For Trees: Stand For Trees is an action campaign that uses the power of social media and crowd-funding to fight global deforestation. Stand For Trees puts the power to save forests in the hands of the people to whom the future matters most: young people. It allows everyday citizens to crowd-fund a more sustainable future for local and indigenous communities while conserving forests, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and protecting wildlife.

 

Relephant Favorite: 

Animal Agriculture, Climate Change & Syria: How Factory Farming has Caused the Greatest Humanitarian Crisis of our Time.

Author: Natalie Prolman 

Editor: Travis May

Image: Video Still

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Natalie Prolman