Every once in a while, I feel compelled to share this video as a poignant reminder.
Now that President Trump has decided that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, I feel more than compelled. I feel urged.
Back in 1992, 12-year-old Severn Cullis-Suzuki stepped on the podium at the United Nations Rio Earth Summit, giving a captivating and emotional speech about climate change. This speech moved thousands of people around the globe to tears.
Her message is simple:
When we were young, adults told us to behave. They taught us to respect others, to not harm any creatures, to clean up our mess. Nowadays, we don’t live by what we teach our children. We don’t respect nature, taking more than we need away from it. We harm animals and people alike. We’re nowhere near being able to clean up the mess we’ve created on this planet.
“My dad always says, ‘You are what you do, not what you say.’ Well, what you do, makes me cry at night.” ~ Severn Cullis-Suzuki
When people ask me, “Who do you vote for?” I usually say, “For whoever wants to honestly fight climate change, because without our ecosystems, clean water sources, and intact nature, everything else is useless.”
This might sound like an exaggerated point of view, but we need to put more pressure on the leaders of our world to make something happen that already feels like a lost case: investing in our environment—not in weapons, war, and economic growth. Stopping climate change should be our number one priority as of now, because we can’t keep breaking things we don’t know how to fix.
If we don’t fix it, if we don’t find a solution, we won’t have to care about our school systems, our income, or even terrorism anymore—these problems will be solved for us without a happy ending.
It may be inconvenient, sad, or uncool to invest time and money in environmental solutions. But it won’t harm any country’s economy; it will most likely save all of us in the long run. This could be our chance to work together as a united world aside from money and trade deals.
Even if some of us, including President Trump, don’t believe in the science on climate change how can we claim that all of our CO2 emissions, plastic waste, and pesticides don’t have an impact? Do we really want a permission slip to keep going the way we are used to by denying the visible impact it has on our planet?
Even if I wasn’t sure the facts were true, I’d still fight for this planet. I’d still try not to use too much plastic, turn the faucet off, and support the leaders who are willing to restore and fight for our ecosystems. Why? Because if we take a look around, we can see our impact—and we can see it’s not a positive one.
To doubt science is allowed, just like it is to ask questions about it. To ignore visible signs, our intuition, and knowledge about nature is close to stupidity.
We don’t need science to see, feel, and hear the earth telling us: help me before it is too late.
Video: The Girl Who Silenced the World for 5 Minutes!
Author: Svenja Dietz
Editor: Sara Kärpänen