The Changing Climate

‘Child is the father of man.’ when William Wordsworth used this expression in his famous 1802 poem ‘The Rainbow’, he tried to explain that the unique insight a child brings to the table is invaluable as they lack the blindspots we adults have been ingrained with. A clear example of this is Greta Thunberg and her call to arms against the lackadaisical stance most governments around the globe have taken in order to fight climate change.

Greta is Swedish 16 years old who began protesting outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018 about the need for immediate action to combat climate change. In her iconic TEDx speech, she spoke about the fact that the need of the hour is to re-frame our current dialogue on climate change so that it reflects the urgency of the matter that Climate change is not just an ‘environmental issue’ but an all-out emergency.

The first time ‘Climate change’ was brought into the public spotlight was when Al Gore began giving his famous presentations back in 1989. Since then we have heard both climate change activists and Climate change deniers speak at length about the issue they campaign for. What makes Greta stand out from the rest is her youth and way she frames her argument. Science has been telling us that we have a finite amount of time until the effects of climate change become irreversible, science has also been telling us that by ignoring this fact, we are reducing the amount of time we have to reform ourselves and our lifestyles. All this leads us to our present-day scenario; until a couple of years back we had up to 2050 to worry about the dangerous effects of climate change but last year the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), pushed up that deadline to 2030, just 10 years away. By ignoring climate change we have not only gambled away our own future but also the future of our children and the generations to come.

“You say that you love your children above everything else. And yet you are stealing their future. We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis.”, these words by Greta at COP24 clearly demonstrate her stance on the climate crisis. We need to change, we need more young people to take an interest because those making the policies now will not be alive when the ill-effects of climate change reach their peak. Climate doesn't care. Climate doesn't care who's in the White House. It doesn't care which party controls our Parliament. It just changes.

Anoushka Viegas, Programme Coordinator