“You will die of old age! We will Die of Climate Change! Screamed a banner at the Climate Strike march in Cape Town on 20 September. For young people, especially in parts of the `developing’ world, weather disasters are already claiming their lives or their future. Their aggressively worded posters at the Climate Strike sent an unambiguous message. The youth are tired of waiting for politicians and big business to change the system of habitat destruction and increasing CO2 emissions. The Earth’s systems are at a tipping point. The point where humans get tipped off so that the planet can re-adjust to a new ecosystem order without `civilization’ based on profit above planet. A tipping point that will reverse all the good in 200 years of human development.
In 1992 Severn Suzuki, then just 12 years old addressed the Rio Earth Summit with the message: From kindergarten on adults teach us to clean up our own mess, to share and not to bully. You do not do what you tell us! A global audience of adults cried while listening to her impassioned plea for change. Politicians looked embarrassed. Perhaps business leaders did not look.
Twenty six years later. YES 26 years, Greta Thunberg has ignited the global youth. They no longer trust an adult society locked into an economic system of material growth where the profit is privatised, and the costs are extracted from society and the environment.
The cubs are no longer willing to sit back and hope that the vested interests of predators and scavengers at a kill will leave something for them. Their slogans say it as it is.
Our very existence means resistance.
Where the fuck is the Government?
Rise up, before the sea does!
The Lorax speaks for the trees and the trees say Fuck You!
Will politicians step up to their leadership mandate? We don’t have another 26 years to change the system. It must start today.
At the Cape Town Climate Strike March, the heads of the African Climate Alliance handed over a memorandum of demands to representatives of the South African government. Their demands include:
A ban on new coal-fired power stations and fossil fuel mining licences;
A commitment to 100% renewable energy generation by 2030;
The creation of a mandatory climate-education curriculum for South Africa; and
Prioritisation of much-needed restoration of degraded landscapes and funding of ecological infrastructure.
Their demands are based on the following societal values.
TELL THE TRUTH
Media and Government must tell the truth about what climate breakdown is and how it threatens human existence.
Parliament must enact legally-binding policies to reduce carbon emissions in South Africa to net zero by 2025. Government must demand Climate Justice from industrialised countries and cooperate internationally to reach this target. Act immediately to mitigate the effects of the chaos, remedy the land to retain and capture carbon, implement sensible plans for a post-carbon economy.
We need ‘Peoples Assemblies’, taking different forms around the Earth, based on the concept of a citizens participatory democracy. The free assembly of people is essential to plan and co-ordinate the decisions we must take to survive, regenerate and thrive.
A JUST TRANSITION
Prioritize the vulnerable and marginalised members of society for reparation and support. Recognise assured sovereignty with legal rights for all species, ecosystems and the whole biosphere.
We will continue to strike until our demands are met!” challenged Ruby Sampson, of the African Climate Alliance. Her colleague Kimber Jacobs called on President Ramaphosa “not to condemn us to climate apartheid”.
The demands were handed to a representative from government as well as Cape Town councillor Phindile Maxiti, mayoral committee member for energy and climate change. We are all waiting – but not too long – to see if President Ramaphosa and Cape Town MAYCO will be leaders for system change.
Information about the Demands of the African Climate Alliance was summarised from: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-09-20-global-sa-eco-warriors-march-for-a-renewable-future/
Kim Kruyshaar on 23 September 2019. The Spring Equinox – time to tip the balance in favour of WELLBEING for all on Earth. Time to start a rEVOLution of values that promote co-operation and care – not chaos and despair.
See follow-up article below by Environmental Writer Leonie Joubert https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-10-02-have-we-already-forgotten-cape-towns-crippling-day-zero-drought/