A reflection on climate change

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How Greta Thunberg inspired the voices of millions

By Justine Renee

Whether you admit it or not, Greta Thunberg’s inspirational speech at the United Nations has created an international movement for climate change. People are leaving schools and staying outside despite the weather to join Greta Thunberg’s movement every Friday. Recently, she even got the key to the city of Montreal where one of the largest strikes happened last week.

Greta Thunberg is the voice of our generation speaking for change, to save our environment and to create a future for the next generations. She is such an inspiration for many people because she has proven that no matter how small we start, we can create a much larger impact.

She started her protest by sitting in front of the Swedish Parliament every Friday. She then spoke in front of many in a TED Talk about her journey, how she knew about climate change, and her efforts in trying to make sure that everyone is educated and later on spoke in front of the United Nations. She started a movement that many of us could not have even thought of; a movement wherein people are fighting  for the climate because she has made everyone aware.

She has made everyone aware that we are in the beginning stages of the sixth mass extinction. Greta’s Friday For Future movement has caused alarm within our society that has caused many students to leave school to protest, and many are making alterations in their diets with the hopes that maybe, even in the smallest way, we can help save our planet.

Now let me propose an idea that will help with our environment, our society and our economy. Why don’t we start making changes in our justice systems that can penalize those who hurt our environment? Is it possible for our inmates, with smaller sentences, to lessen jail time if they are able to plant a certain number of trees? Should schools provide mandatory classes that will educate students about the environmental crises? Maybe we can make it so it’s mandatory for students to do something good for the environment to earn marks. The lack of education regarding climate change is extremely alarming considering that it affects every single living being on the planet.

The first time I heard about climate change was in fifth grade back in the Philippines which would have been roughly around 2008. My teacher back then showed a video in class called “A Letter From 2070.” This letter talked about life in that dystopian world wherein we have failed nature. People are starving, fighting for water, paying for clean air to breathe. It even talked about how trees are not a thing, that children in that day could only imagine what a tree would look like, it also talked about how the average life expectancy is 35.

If you come to think of it, the year 2070 is not far away, most of us should be in our seventies by then and should be spending time with our grandchildren. However, scientists nowadays are giving us until 2050 to change our ways, to let ourselves help prevent the earth from experiencing irreversible changes.

We have 30 years to reverse centuries of destruction. We are given warnings upon warnings, and we have enough knowledge on the subject on the internet, at the tip of our fingers and yet, here we are sitting in our first world countries acting unbothered. We are acting like there are no poor countries that will suffer the first blows when the earth finally starts to fight back.

So why aren’t we starting now? Why are we not implementing changes in our daily lives? It shouldn’t have to take us all the ice melting and mass environmental destruction for us to realize that every second that we try to save the planet helps, and that every time we lessen our meat intake and our use of plastic will count.

Even something as small as sharing things on our social media page will help create a movement: a panic within people – enough to empower a revolution.

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