First there was Greta, now there are a million more...
Armed with a treasure trove of scientific truths, these young folk are singularly focused on shaming the reckless, selfish, ignorant, complacent, arrogant and spineless world leaders into urgently taking action to address the most terrifying emergency in the history of humanity by...
Totally Reinventing Our Entire System of Living
in the Era of Abrupt Climate Change
Will they succeed? Who knows? But we should all be pulling for them, because their failure would not bode well for our future as a species. At least they're having the long-overdue conversation, which is more than you can say for over 95% of the adults in the world.
And some of those young activists are pre-teen. Just
Last week, a 9-year-old boy was featured in a 2-minute video in the NY Times. In it, young Zayne Cowie talks about the rhyme book he wrote about climate change,
Click on the image to watch the video
within this short opinion piece in the Times.
In the video, he reads the entire book in front of what is obviously a staged audience, representing all of the world's "grown-ups" who have failed the children of the world.
Near the end of his "rhyme" book reading, he closes with these compelling lines, then tosses the book and walks out.
We may be kids but we are pissed,
We're fighting now just to exist.
If we don't protect all it's worth,
Prepare to say, Goodbye Earth!
Here's a link to Cowie's entire
, consisting of just sixteen pages - with lots of pictures.
As the article states, this 9-year-old climate activist is among a group of children and young adults who led the Global Youth Climate Strike on March 15 and were striking at City Hall in New York.
According to this
, the one-day global event on 3-15-19 attracted some one million participants in a total of 125 countries. Lots of "cool" placards too...
The 9-year-old in my life.
Last Friday morning as I was awaiting the news of the unfolding global school strike for climate, I emailed my daughter Diana, in Atlanta, to tell her about young Zayne who is the same age as Diana's oldest daughter, Violet.
Speaking of Violet, if I was allowed to use just one word to describe this grand-daughter, I would choose "exceptional."
I wrote to her mom because I was particularly curious as to
what Violet might be thinking about Greta, Zayne and the huge youth-driven movement to combat climate change. So Diana asked Violet to read Zayne's book herself and to share her
opinion. And here's what this special 9-year-old had to say:
"I agree with his message because if we don't protect the Earth, we're going to vanish. Also everyone should recycle, not use cars as much and elect people who think the Earth is important."
In my earlier email, I also told my daughter about Stuart Scott who is the person responsible for getting Greta Thunberg to attend the COP 24 conference. Excerpts from my email to her:
Diana, did you know that this whole youth movement really caught the world's attention when my Honolulu friend, Stuart Scott, invited Greta Thunberg (who was 15 at the time) to attend the UN Climate Conference in Poland this past December. Her video interview with Amy Goodman, while at the event, has since been seen almost a million times.
Recently, Stuart told me that inviting Greta to attend the COP 24 climate conference in Poland is the most worthwhile action he's ever taken in his life...his finest hour
so to speak - joking that i
t might even influence St. Peter to allow him into heaven someday.
He and I have been following each other's work for about a year and we met for lunch in NYC on 9-17-18. In fact, it was during my conversation with him while walking in Central Park on that late summer day that I actually put my GRATOLA idea into words for the very first time.
Meet Stuart Scott. That's him on the left. Watch the video as he introduces
Greta to the COP 24 in Poland in December of 2018. You really should try to watch at least the first five minutes of this special event.
Click the image to start this 18-minute video
Newsworthy or Crucially Important? In addition to the global school strike for climate last week, there was another story involving young people entering college illegally that broke during the same time frame. Here's what I've got to say about that.
There are some very serious things going on in the world that affect young people and I would argue that climate change and sustainability trump ALL other issues, including the college admissions scandal. Yet the latter story got at least ten times more coverage.
The Bottom Line. Who knew it would be the world's children who would wake us up to the most important topic in the history of humanity?
In honor of their courageous efforts, I chose 18-year old Hannah Laga Abram to provide my bottom line for this BSB. She is the lead state organizer for the U.S. Youth Climate Strike in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In her Guardian article, she concluded...
We are living in the sixth mass extinction. Ice is melting. Forests are burning. Waters are rising. And we do not even speak of it. Why?
Because admitting the facts means admitting that we are committing crimes of epic proportions just by living our daily lives.
Because counting the losses means being overpowered by grief.
Because allowing the scale of the crisis means facing the fear of swift impending disaster and the fact that our entire system must change.
But now is not the time to ignore science in order to save our feelings. It is time to be terrified, enraged, heartbroken, grief-stricken and radical. It is time to act.
Unfortunately, most adults in positions of power are not aware of the "big picture" issues she describes so brilliantly in the Guardian:
"Our entire system must change!"
In closing. What the youth are doing with the school strike is admirable, but one wonders how long it will be before the adults intervene and suppress. I greatly admire their tenacity, sincerity and courage to shake things up and I genuinely hope that their actions will wake up enough world leaders to urgently begin
making things right with nature on this planet.
Regarding the action needed to fully reinvent our whole system of living, David Wallace-Wells made a number of similar statements in his book that I reviewed in the last BSB below, "Uninhabitable Earth."
Six of my earlier BSBs on this topic, including the first one on Greta's birthday.
This just in.
Three days ago, on March 18, a new world record was set for the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere. Recorded in Mauna Loa, Hawaii, the
new record is 414.84 ppm
and it was the seventh new record in just nine weeks.
Let's put that in perspective. It took three full years (156 weeks) for the previous seven CO2 world records to be set.
At co2.earth, you can check out all the data. Another site I check daily is related to the sea ice situation in the Arctic, another scary situation. nsidc.org.
So what can you do? Three things:
1. Live as greenly as possible while doing all that you can to raise the awareness of "big picture" solutions that are ultimately necessary to save our civilization.
2. Share this BSB and my
"Mama Ain't Happy"
BSB with prominent journalists, thought leaders and/or elected officials whom you respect. They need to learn a lot more about the many reasons why
Mama ain't happy.
3. Help me find thoughtful audiences where I can speak freely about the most important topic in the history of humanity.
Until next time, just remember...
Humanity is on a collision course with Nature.
A damaged Nature will survive. We may not.
We must change course to avert an ecological disaster.
J. Morris (Jim) Hicks
CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC
(now contains 5-minute video of me speaking in Tucson)
will be in April at the University of Scranton - an event co-sponsored by The Greenhouse Project and the Environmental Studies concentration at the university.
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