General or Other

Our planet is dying and its death will mean ours too

Hey everyone, our planet is dying and its death will mean ours too. I would be super grateful if you read to the end.

I applied to attend the United Nations Youth #ClimateAction Summit on Saturday 21st and was successful. Moreover now I’ve been lucky to also be invited to attend the United Nations General Assembly Climate Summit on the 23rd of September. I am also attending several side events as well as meeting the Seychelles delegation.

All my expenses have been covered by myself and the UN and I was given a green ticket to offset my carbon. Still, I’ve decided to donate SCR 500 /£30 of my own money to GVI Curieuse’ Cinnamon Collection Charity Challenge Cup  which is supporting Terrestrial Restoration Action Society of Seychelles (TRASS) as a way to offset my carbon locally in hopes that government officials and people with the means to travel also start doing the same (in fact, here’s a great tool that calculates your emissions and gives you a way to offset them, https://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx wouldn’t it be great if we had one for #Seychelles?)

In any case, what I want to focus on is that it’s the scientific truth that human activities are responsible for the changes in climate we’re experiencing today and that will only worsen in the years to come. It’s also the case that the least responsible for this #climatecrisis are the most vulnerable. It’s also sad and true that we have the know-how and money to do something about this existential threat, but lack the political will as gross inequality within and between states exists whereby the polluters are not taking responsibility and the rich get richer at the expense of those who are powerless or have not been born yet.

This is a crying shame and we should not sit idly by, and the argument I am making to you now is not a case for conservation, its a case for survival.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that unless something drastic happens: WE WILL DROWN, WE WILL STARVE AND ALL THAT WE HAVE WORKED FOR TO FIGHT POVERTY, TO FIGHT FOR EQUITY (ECONOMIC, RACIAL, GENDER, SEXUALITY & DISABILITY) WILL BE LOST. TENS OF MILLIONS WILL BE MADE CLIMATE REFUGEES AND ISLANDERS LIKE SEYCHELLOIS WILL BECOME STATELESS. THERE’LL BE WATER WARS AND FAMINE AND WHEN THINGS GO THIS WAY DICTATORSHIPS WILL RISE. THERE WON’T BE FISH IN THE SEA OR BIRDS IN THE SKY, WE’LL HAVE NOTHING BUT MONEY TO WIPE OUR TEARS.

I don’t want to see that happen. I can’t let it happen without trying to do something. I don’t want myself or those who come after to be homeless. That’s why I go to these events as a youth from a country that will disappear if we don’t quit drilling for oil, if our diets don’t become more plant-based, if we don’t harness renewable energy and if we don’t start making individual actions that force ourselves, our communities, corporations and governments to be responsible. Action can mean strikes as much as it can mean dialogue.

In being given this privilege I realize I have the platform and responsibility to speak truth to power and the 3 points below are what I’ll be bearing in mind when at the summit.

1) #Climatechange is a violation of our #humanrights and is unjust. Seychelles contributes 0.003% of global greenhouse gas emissions, will need almost USD 300 million to adapt to its effects and this may not be enough to allow us to keep living as we do today. How is that fair? We haven’t been able to secure enough international finance as of yet as those developed countries who are supposed to contribute are shuffling their feet and slow to reduce their emissions.

2) The global tourism industry, which we rely on to survive will kill us if it doesn’t change. I think there must be a way to influence those who visit us and the rest of the world to take responsibility for the impact they cause. Once I have the appropriate data and partners I hope to work on something that will help us find a better way to clothe, shelter and feed our nation, contributing to my first point (finding finance to adapt).

3) Sometimes action means stopping something. Oil and other fossil fuels need to be left in the ground. Yes, we need to develop and find ways to pay for it but this is a false economy and we the world and yes little Seychelles can’t say we want to survive this climate crisis and still go exploring for oil. It’s incompatible with our future. It’s a terrible joke and people should know that drilling for oil is like drilling a hole in your boat while in the middle of the ocean.

Ultimately, there’ll be more than these points that I say and listen to. I’ve talked to a couple of people here before setting out and I feel equipped with the right info and a lot of the right approach, but even with this I know I only know so much. All I have left to say is please do something about this for yourself, not the ‘environment’. 

We need it more than it needs us.

Img Src: achangingwildworld

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