What a coincidence, while I’m making notes on my phone jotting down important points that could be placed tightly into my article here, something falls down right near my feet. I look up to see where a mini can of coke landed from. I find my colleague wave a hand at me miming, “Sorry! I missed it.” looking at the trash can beside my rotating chair.
Oh no, my point wasn’t ill manners, it was plastic bottles. And wait, before you could get into conclusions, I can easily pick out fifteen plastic bags around my house, which I acquired from many shopping spots including my local grocery store down the lane. So, I’m not ranting about me being a eco-friendly woman who uses only paper bags and jute lunch bag to carry her organic fruits and vegetables. That’s not true at all.
Though, I may be talking about the guest who came on a popular national television news channel and said “a Mentally ill-Swedish girl” was over reacting to climate change and is exploited by her parents. But before I get into this, I may want you to see how a 15 year old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish environmental activist’s, powerful speech went viral in hours after speaking at the climate action summit in New York at the headquarters of the United Nations, in case you haven’t yet. Which is next to impossible.
Question yourself everyday – Are you counting your days to death, without you realizing it?
The national television later apologized after hate started pouring in towards them. So why has this teen received so much hate online? Well, The Atlantic did an article elaborating on why Greta is making adults uncomfortable. Hmm, now let’s figure out what exactly is the problem. a) Is it that a teenager, who is angry about a global issue, is getting a lot of attention? b) Is it that we want to desperately ignore that earth is melting, but she isn’t letting us to do that in peace? c) Why do grown men hate her? While asking all these questions, I wonder if we are forgetting it’s not her that we should focus on but what she tried to convey.
Be it from a 15 year old or a 50 year old, facts unfortunately remain facts. Mocking, bullying and attacking will not be of any good. I really don’t think.
Repeating that climate change is real is not something I should do, which is as real as stating the fact that earth is round. Instead, here is how you could do your bit, apart from reading hundreds of articles on climate change and feeling pity or scared (including this).
- Walk, cycle or use public transport. A study in Stockholm showed that 60 lives could be saved each year thanks to reduced air pollution, if everyone had less than a 30-minute cycle ride to work, instead of taking the car.
- Consume less meat. I hear your sigh while reading this! Calm down, let me complete. Lower your meat consumption to two days a week and take appropriate portion of food, avoid wastage.
- Wash clothes in cold or warm water, use energy and heat wisely.
- Start climate conversations, you may feel this might not be of any good, but trust me talking to each other can change governments.
What did it take for us human beings to wake up from our comfortable dreams after a 15 year old came up and told us the world is ending? What are doing about that garbage dump next to your apartment as you walk past it everyday making a face of disgust? Blaming each other isn’t helping, this time we are all in one team.
As I make the final touches to my article here, Ms. Thunberg is in the news for all the reasons black and white. But I’m going to only focus on one kind of news. This school-going girl is leading the biggest climate march which will take place in 150 countries, focused largely on youth protesters, yet people from all generations are rushing in hoping to bring a change to the mindset of people on climate change.
While its never too late to begin, we are already much much behind. A small action could take us a long way, reduce your screen brightness, remember save energy in the smallest way? Let this be a beginning.
Good luck to us (we need that it seems), the end is near.
“We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to.” – Terri SwearingenTweet