My twin sister and I are 15-year-old students and we were fascinated reading about how Greta Thunberg was leading climate change strikes in the last few months. From hearing crackers every night to the insidious killer air we are breathing in Delhi, we felt frustrated, and joining the Global School Strike on March 15 seemed like the answer.
As someone who is facing the consequences of the decisions made by the previous generations, I feel it is my duty to fight for my future and planet. I believe one needs to take a peaceful but direct and firm urgent action to seek our objective. Our country and its people have been denying the very fact that global warming and climate change exist. And if we don’t accept this soon we won’t have a planet to live in. This is one of the many reasons we, the youth, have decided to take the streets and demand for what we deserve.
While campaigning for the cause, I came across people who were against me striking from school and a handful of those who supported the movement, but what was astonishing, was the lack of knowledge of both these adults and children on the subject. No one knew that we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, that 50% of earth’s biodiversity is already extinct and that if the earth’s temperature rises another degree in the next 11 years, we the human race, will cease to exist.
Is this the kind of future our parents want to leave us, their children, with? It was disheartening that most of my peers and friends, when told about this pressing matter, could not find time to come and protest with me for OUR future. It was disappointing to see that the people whose future is at stake cannot understand the severity of the situation.
But as we protested every month, it was uplifting to see the support shown by the less privileged children. The amount of information and knowledge they had was astounding. The emotion they felt while speaking about climate change mesmerised me and everyone around them. I was overwhelmed with joy and was so happy that they had acknowledged the need for us to voice our demands and fight for the future we deserve. So we had taken the first step forward.
However, most children and adults are scattered in different directions of environment and pollution even cleanliness, which was amazing, but it took us far from the crisis of climate change.
The most important urgent change needed is that the use of coal and fossil fuels has to be stopped – it is the biggest cause of climate breakdown. In India, coal combustion is the 11th largest emitter of killer gases in the world! And the biggest guzzler of taxpayer money. It needs to be closed now. Because coal still provides 60% of our power, India is the fourth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide on the planet. Right now it is causing such high air pollution and stealthily causing the biggest climate breakdown ever. We are paying too high a price for our comfort.
The trolls on my twitter asked me if I’m willing to give up my diesel car. And so I say “yes” but that’s why I’m demanding from the government to give me a world-class public transport system.
We should focus on climate breakdown and the role of trees, coal, construction and their impact on our air and water as well. The concrete monstrosities that the government wants to build at the cost of our trees and bio-diversity are exactly the opposite of what we want the government to do.
With such a huge population, we have to campaign big to bring many millions with us on the strike. This is our last chance to act before the world collapses into an irreversible crisis. We do not want to die a painful extinction only because the previous generation made many mistakes to ruin our planet. This planet belongs to us too. And as for the Government, it will have to choose between people or profit.
We are striking for the Global Climate Strike through September 20-27 in over 85 cities/towns. Do join in to save your future! Click here to sign up.