Now that COP17 is over, and I am on my way home, I am a little scared. I am going to be back and everyone is going to ask me how my trip was and what I think of “Africa” and if I had fun. And my answer is going to be my trip was depressing, I have not seen Africa and yes I might have had fun but certainly not by your standard definition of fun. I am really not looking forward to answer these questions to people who don’t know much and don’t care about climate change.
I am really not in the mood to explain to those who will ask “so what did you accomplish” the importance and effectiveness of direct action. Sadly, I have little choice and maybe it is about time to put it out there for those who do and do not understand why I do the things I do.
Most people will wonder how can I go to “Africa” and not go on a Safari, but for me it is pretty simple. It is perfectly okay because, some of the people I met and heard over the last 3 weeks are suffering from famines and are asking for a serious climate deal as their children’s Christmas presents. When I realize the extent to which some people are suffering because of manmade climate change, the constructed importance of many things suddenly fades away.
Maybe instead of a safari, we should all be checking out the once prosperous agricultural communities around the continent that are now suffering droughts and see what we can do about it.
Maybe instead of surfing away on the beaches, we should listen to the outcry of small island states that are threatened to be buried under water in less than a decade.
Don’t get me wrong, it is perfectly fine to explore and tour, but what I am saying is that I was up to something more serious and a little more meaningful than a simple tour on my trip. My motivation to spend $4000 and sit on a 35 hours very uncomfortable plane ride has a lot more to it than to tour or visit a foreign place.
I went with a mission to make a difference and hope to inspire, be inspired and shed some light on the reasons behind Canada’s absent climate policies. I went knowing that some part of this trip will suck and that by the end of it I am gonna wonna cry and smash bottles and cry some more knowing that we’re on the road to devastation!
The planet is boiling, people are dying, sea levels are rising and there are some people who just do not give a damn and I cannot do anything about it.
I am pretty sure some will understand this but many will wonder why I would do this.
To those I say how can you not?
How can you be okay with discrimination and injustices? How can you watch the world fall apart and be fine with it? If you believe that your children have an inherent right to food and education, how can you take part of denying those rights to other children?
If you’re religious and think that it is God’s job, I say, if anything all religions have in common is preaching justice and equality.
If you’re lost and not sure what to do, I say educate yourself, you’ll find every action matters.
If you’re just oblivious and don’t care, I say you’re guilty and have no excuse, the reality is that your comfort will not last long. While you might not be directly affected by climate change, I hate to break the news to you, but scientific evidence show that it is only going to get worse.
I am not a silly, naïve 24 years old child. I simply value justice and don’t accept discrimination and I aim for change in everything I do. I have a vision of a better world and that’s what keeps me going. Unfortunately, I am surrounded by bulldozers that are actively crushing my vision in the name of realism, economic prosperity and social norms and expectations. I might not and likely will not, change the world, but I absolutely have no excuse not to try.