I recently watched the second season of a brilliant show – The Politician – which addressed a tenacious issue that is affecting the human population at large. Payton Hobart, the protagonist, and aforementioned politician runs for state senate on a climate change platform. His campaign is successful due to a common belief shared by the younger generation – that the Earth is in the midst of a climate emergency and we are running out of time to save our home.
In recent years, we have been enlightened about the dangers of global warming. Snow-capped mountains are melting, the global mean sea level is rising, droughts and wildfires are occurring more frequently, and temperatures are at an all-time high. Animals are losing their habitats and are slowly being driven to extinction, due to poaching, deforestation, industrialization, and climate change. Nevertheless, many people are misinformed about the extent of the climate crisis and believe that it is a myth. But there is only so long that we can turn a blind eye to this massive problem.
Presently, we all are tirelessly working towards a secure life. But what if we do not have clean air to breathe and pure water to drink in the coming decades? The uncertainty that our future holds has led to the organization of youth strikes and Extinction Rebellion actions across the world. This in turn has given a boost to the climate crisis, pushing it up the agenda over the last few years. The current movement of climate activism among young people is a result of frustration over climate inaction and the urgent desire to see change. Their anger is contrasted with the older generation’s fear that they have failed their children, leaving them to deal with a damaged world.
The drive towards climate activism is not only generational but also ideological. More people want to fix the environment and work on making things better, rather than keeping them the same. There has been an increase in individuals making sustainable life choices through simple measures such as recycling, buying reusable bags, and saving water. Local clean up drives by students and environmental activists are fast gaining popularity in many countries. However, there is a limit to what individual behavior can achieve.
Alternatively, we must aim to transform the very systems that are the cause of climate change. If we do not push for systemic change, we divert the responsibility for solving our climate crisis onto individuals and away from large capitalistic corporations. We can no longer let our futures be dictated by these enormous global forces that no one person can control. The fate of future generations is intertwined with the impending climatic doom. Thus, it is imperative to achieve climate justice before it is too late to reverse the damage caused to our environment.
This planet is the only place in the universe that we can call home, and we cannot afford to trash it any longer.