The “Children” of the World

I was listening to the Ted Talks titled Dear World Leaders, these are our climate demands.

It was the appropriate and classical demands to the leaders of the world to work harder on the major issues impacting our world. So what made me want to write about this?

The speakers were Xiye Bastida and Shiv Soin. Shiv is a fourth year student at NYU and Executive Director of TREEage, a grassroots group of youth to create and implement a local Green New Deal in New York City. Xiye “the climate girl” is originally from San Pedro Tultepec, Mexico. She and her friends began the Re-Earth Initiative aimed at “reimaging the future, reconnecting with the planet, and redefining collaboration.” By the way, Xiye started her work at the age of thirteen.

What part of “re-earth”, “re-imaging”, “re-connecting” and “re-defining collaboration” don’t you just love it?

This Ted Talk was about how millions of youth around the planet have essentially muscled the climate crisis to the top of the global agenda.

The youth….

I remember the election campaign for President Obama. There was a college student interviewed and asked about her feelings around the Presidential election and Congress.

“All I see is a bunch of old white men and nothing changing.”

Youth – Reimagine – Re-Earth – Collaboration – Re-connecting – Old Guard

Youth | Collaboration | Old Guard

Among their demands was having youth at the decision-making tables. They can take the seats the fossil fuel companies held thus removing the economic, political, and social influence these companies wielded.

Youth + Collaboration + Old Guard

The word “Guard” has a few definitions – watch over in order to protect; protect against damage or harm; control

For the most part, our children (<15) and our youth (15-24), are explorers. Their thought is fresh, their motives more pure, their innocence still somewhat preserved. Here on I will refer to our children and our youth with the single term “our future” – let’s see how that sounds…

Our future should be at the decision-making table regarding our planet and our climate. Our future should be at the decision-making table regarding our world and climate. Any arguments? If yes, may I suggest you need to notably reassess your beliefs.

Old guard – stop leveraging control and start protecting our future from harm – foreign, domestic and environmental.

The phrase “lead, follow or get the hell out of the way” seems fitting. Many in charge now are leading with motives that have gone astray, corporate executives and senior politicians can rarely follow, and sometimes getting out of the way means stepping in the way of others.

Leadership is tough. You need to make tough decisions, have a strong vision, hire those that can not only appreciate the vision but will have the same passion for making it a reality. Leadership means trusting those you bring on board and backing them to get the job done. That’s right – you support them.

Arguably, the older we get, the sharper our vision, the stronger our passion, but perhaps less energy. The youth and our future have the energy. The youth may lack the experience to appreciate the downstream consequences or impact of our actions. Conversely, the old guard may avoid action because of past events that not be relevant today.

We will only get though this if our future is actively involved

The business leaders and politicians handling this now have a massive conflict of interest. They will not recuse themselves because that means loss of control. Loss of control also means financial loss UNLESS they find ways to invest in our future.

Other countries hate us for a whole bunch of reasons. Some believe that we are gluttons with a superior attitude and a total disregard for others. Say Whaaattt?

I remember someone talking about mini nuclear power plants that would supply power to 100,000 homes around the world or about 20,000 homes in the US. Glutton? Point taken – let’s talk about superior attitude and the disregard for others.

Behind China who emits 9.04 billion metric tons (Bn Mt) of carbon dioxide. Following China is the United States came in at 5.41 Bn Mt. The U.S. has been very slow to acknowledge the impact of climate change. ¹

There were two events that seemed to underscore this attitude. The first was in 1997 when the Senate unanimously adopted a resolution opposing the first international treaty to cut greenhouse gases.

The second was in 2017 when President Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the 2017 Paris climate accord – the only country to reject the agreement. Superior attitude? Point taken – let’s move to ‘total disregard for others‘. Point taken– when we do not address climate change we are clearly showing a total disregard for others.

It seems the U.S. believes Great Britain has a superior attitude. Maybe we are carrying some grudge from the American Revolution. Maybe it’s because of their use of the English language. Maybe it’s because they would prefer to read actual words rather than only see pictures. Whatever the reason – their CO² emissions have fallen 38% since 1990.

In 1990 the U.S. emitted 6,443 Bn Mt. In 2007 the U.S. peaked at 7,450 Bn Mt and in 2019 we were at 6,558 Bn Mt². From 1990 to 2019, the U.S. increased emissions by 1.78%. That does seem to bad but between 1990 and 2007, we increased CO² emissions by 15.63%. Between 2007 and 2019 the U.S. reduced emissions by 11.97%. Yawning yet? I fell asleep five times trying to write it but our world environment is in crisis.

As you look around your home, neighborhood and community you may believe no one else is acting to improve our environment. Don’t fall victim to the idea that your only one person. Too many people are trying to find the right person or the person to lead the way. Sometimes all you have to do is BE the right person and then lead the way. If no one follows, try a different approach. Reach out to the world for ideas. Be strong, Be positive, Be the Action.

There will be years when nothing seems to happen. There will also be weeks where years happen.

Here’s the thing about numbers. They are boring. That said, they are also necessary to determine the impact and how things change. Most importantly – numbers will vary between reporting organizations.

Don’t get hung up on the numbers as much as the trends. Don’t rely on the political environment to provide accurate information. They are the ultimate story teller. Listen to our scientist and our youth.

Absolutely get hung up with our future. Our environment – absolutely! but there’s more.

Help our future understand patience, coping and forgiveness. As we strive to reduce carbon emissions, it is my dream that we reduce violence, anger and hopelessness.

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