A Glimpse Into The World

Scientists agree: We are living in a new age, the „Anthropocene“.
 
No other force of nature shapes the planet on which we live as broadly and irreversibly as man himself. Most of us have until now been able to suppress the consequences of this realization with ease, the advancement of our own careers, with self-protection or a little bit of ignorance, given that these consequences have rarely been as noticeable in our every day life as they have long been in other parts of the world. But we are increasingly more often also experiencing extreme weather events in the global north, and are confronted with refugees and migrants. So we now, at this very moment in time, have to ask ourselves: What planet do we want to leave to future generations? On what kind of world do we want to live in the future? 
Scientists’ prognoses can bring any consciously thinking human being to the brink of madness, given the gargantuan ramifications that go against every experience that mankind has been through over the course of its sagas, legends and fairy tales: namely, that the earth will become uninhabitable by the end of the
century. 
 
Because:
 
  • Every year about 50,000 animal and plant species die out. 100-1,000 times more than in any other epoch of the geological history of our planet. 
  • Every year, we pollute the oceans with 8 million tonnes of plastic.
  • Every year, polluted water and air are responsible for 7-8 million deaths.
  • One third of the planet‘s arable land is now infertile. And the trend is rising. 
  • Overfishing and the warming of the oceans threaten the livelihoods of three billion people who depend on fish as their most important source of food.
  • Over the next few years, glaciers will lose half their mass. The Alps could be a desert mountain range in 2100.
  • Despite the Paris climate agreement, carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise every year.
  • … to name but a few of the crises that will affect humanity as a whole.
 
 
„The climate models with the worst predictions define the limits of what is imaginable. This allows us to better visualize what is likely. And perhaps these extreme models will even turn out to be good signposts, considering that the optimists over the last half century were never right about the climate.“ – David Wallace-Wells
 
Never before has our understanding of our planet’s state been so comprehensive. We get daily news reports about climate catastrophes. Scientific articles are freely accessible and written in ways that make them comprehensible to everyone. Ever more often, we feel in our own bodies what effects the climate crisis is having on the survival of our species. And yet it is difficult to be driven to action. Because – where should we even begin?
 
Where tribal elders used to look for answers to existential questions, the generational relationship now seems to have been radically reversed. Millions of children and young people all over the world are joining forces with an unutterable power and vehemence to persuade the world community to act collectively. For they have understood: Time is running out for us. According to the IPCC report, we still have 12 years left to mitigate the consequences of a global climate catastrophe. Exactly the same period of time that a high school student goes to school.
 
The 10-25 year olds of today will be those most severely affected by the deadly consequences of these crises. That is why they are demanding immediate and binding climate protection measures from prior generations, at both the
political and the individual level. In order to draw attention to themselves and their demands, they are rebelling against the educational ideals of their parents‘ generation. Following the example of the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (16), every Friday millions of children strike from school and head out into the streets instead of into the
classrooms. All over the world, new „Fridays for Future“ groups are formed – whether that is in Hong Kong, Greenland, the Pacific Islands, Chile or Canada. 
 
Over the course of just a few weeks, the movement has become the largest youth climate movement of all time and has the immense power to shake the political foundations and laissez-faire mentality of previous generations. With their fighting spirit and their unstoppable joy of life, the children show that change is possible. Because what is
required for this to take place lies in every one of us.
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It’s our future