Imagine waking up to a world where it is snowing in the Sahara desert and the polar ice caps have melted submerging huge chunks of landmass in its wake?
A glimpse of this future presented itself to the world last month. Temperatures across North America dropped down radically catching the USA in a swirl of snow. While the polar vortex was sending chills down the spines of people in the Northern Hemisphere it was throwing a different tantrum in the Southern Hemisphere.
Down under in Australia, the heat was turned on. The sun was beating down hard and temperatures soared up to a scorching 46-degree centigrade. This unusual change in temperature pattern affected the Darling-Murray river system in quite a significant way. Climate change claimed for itself thousands of fish which were found floating dead on the banks of the Murray River.
While nature was letting the people know its wrath, Donald Trump too was making his presence felt on Twitter. On climate change, he earlier claimed it was a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. Recently when the United States was in the grip of the polar vortex he asked for global warming to make a comeback!
The alacrity and the firmness of resolve shown by a person occupying one of the most coveted and responsible positions of power has planted seeds of doubt in the ability of governments to effectively combat climate change in a timely manner.
Though it has not been bad news all around the spectrum, the pace at which the news is making headlines is a cause of concern. Be it the International Solar Alliance envisaged by India and France to reduce dependence on thermal energy in the countries between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Or be it, the initiative taken by the public transport in the Indonesian city of Surabaya of giving tickets to passengers for recycling plastic waste.
These initiatives though successful are not a complete solution in itself. They are just pieces in the jigsaw puzzle titled ‘combating climate change‘. The future inheritors of the planet think so and are demanding from their respective governments to put environment at the top of their political agenda.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not for every man’s greed.” , said Mahatma Gandhi. The avarice of human beings has placed the future of the next generations on the precipice. But the next generation has decided to fight for what is their right.
According to the statistics in a World Economic Forum report the outlook for the future is grave. In it, it says the scientists predict that the planet’s sixth mass extinction is underway and the world has just 12 years to limit the warming up to 1.5-degree centigrade. Students are carrying out climate change strikes to get this message across to global decision makers and as they call it ‘change the fate of humanity’.
In order to make their voices heard students across 57 nations on the planet organised rallies in their respective countries. If you think it is a one-time thing, you are mistaken. Students are determined to seize the initiative and ready to take to the streets to safeguard their future. They are prepared to continue to do what they did on 15 March 2019 till the governments across the globe act decisively to protect the rapidly diminishing bounty of nature.
As the saying goes, we live on borrowed time. Time and resources borrowed from the future generations. We are in a race against time to save the planet we so dearly call home. Today’s students will inherit this home to live their lives tomorrow. To ensure they have tomorrow the governments will need to act today.