In 1989, I hosted a CBC radio series, It’s a Matter of Survival, featuring interviews with almost 150 scientists and environmental experts from around the world. Their warning was consistent and stark: Human beings were causing unprecedented changes to Earth’s systems, the detrimental effects were already taking shape, and people would need to reinvent how we live, consume, use energy and move around in order to avoid a looming global crisis.
The public response was impressive. In this pre-internet era, the CBC received 16,000 handwritten letters from listeners eager to act on climate change and other environmental issues. (This would eventually lead to the David Suzuki Foundation’s creation.)
That was 30 years ago.
“I was wilfully deluded until I began covering global warming,” says author and journalist David Wallace-Wells. He’s the author of The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story Of The Future which begins with these gripping opening lines “It’s worse, much worse, than you think” that are like a voice from your worst nightmare. “People should be scared – I’m scared,” says Wallace-Wells.
Fear for our future and frustration with the inability of the political establishment to deal adequately with the climate crisis are driving the world’s youth to rise. And they will not take no for an answer. They are not, in any way, deluded about their future.
I began following global warming and climate change over a decade ago. At first I naively thought that climate science—the facts—would galvanize the world into taking rapid and immediate steps to bend the curve on greenhouse gases and the warming of the planet. But that did not work out that well. MORE
The tide of public opinion about the urgency of climate action is turning. And once it crosses that tipping point, it isn’t going back. We are close to that historic moment.
The promise of youth striking from school around the globe under the banner of #FridaysForFuture, combined with the groundswell of ordinary citizens flocking to the Extinction Rebellion movement, is causing consternation to world leaders who are failing to deal adequately with the world climate emergency before us.
My recent piece on #climatehope for 2019 is followed by this blog post resourced from the Climate Reality Project. MORE
Sunrise, founded a year and a half ago by a dozen or so twentysomethings, has established itself as the dominant influence on the environmental policy of the Democrat’s young, progressive wing. Photograph by Michael Brochstein / SOPA / Getty
Will global leaders continue to inch slowly forward on addressing the climate crisis? Or will the world make a giant leap ahead to solve this most critical existential challenge ever encountered by we humans?
Four Reasons For Climate Hope
1. Youth Rising
I’m energized by the worldwide rise of youth in the climate movement. The voice of youth resonates loudly, and with unencumbered clarity, with politicians and world leaders.
Once we start to act, hope is everywhere ~ Greta Thunberg
Their innocence grips adults at an emotional level, in the gut and in the heart. I see the promise of their ideas, their energy and their resilience. MORE