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Hope is contagious

In a dialogue between Greta Thunberg (a young climate change activist) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (US Congress) published in the Guardian on 29 June they agreed that –

  • many people were unaware of the climate crisis
  • there was a need to act now
  • even small changes in energy usage by each person could make a difference

In response to the query why young people have been so powerful and persuasive on the issue of climate change, Greta simply replied “because our future is at risk – why should we study for a future that no longer exists”.
Alexandria considered hope in limiting climate change as “ something you create with your actions. Hope is something you have to manifest into the world and once one person has hope, it can be contagious and other people starting acting in a similar way. Greta replied “that I know so many people who feel hopeless and they ask me ‘what should I do’ and I reply ‘act - do something.’
No one is too small to make a difference by Greta Thunberg (Penguin, London) 2019

Climate apartheid protects rich

The world is increasingly at risk of ‘climate apartheid’ where the rich can afford to escape heat and hunger caused by an escalating climate crisis while the rest of the world suffers” according to Philip Alsthon, UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. “Moreover the impact of global warming is likely to undermine not only basic rights to life, but also for many people (access to) democracy and the rule of the law”.

He presented his report to the UN’s Human Rights Council on 28 June in Geneva and stated that “ the greatest impact would be on those living in poverty with many losing access to adequate food and water. Climate change threatens to undo the last 50 years of progress in development, global health and poverty reduction”.

He added that “even if the 2015 Paris accord on limiting climate change is realised, it still leaves the world on course for a catastrophic 30 C of heating without further action”.

This report updates the plea of the former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mary Robinson, in 2015 in the 8th Grantham Lecture who called for ‘climate justice’ and explained that under article 28 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, “every country has a right to exist”.

Global climate emergency – Pope Francis’s plea

Pope Francis has declared a global climate change emergency, warning of the dangers of global warming and that a failure to limit the average global temperature rise to 1.50C would be - “a brutual act of injustice towards the poor and future generations which stand to inherit a world greatly different to what our present generation enjoy. Our children and grandchildren should not have to pay the cost of our generation’s irresponsibility”.

The pope’s plea was addressed to the leaders of some of the world’s largest oil company executives in the Vatican. He impressed upon them the urgency and scale of the challenge and the central role that they could play in tackling the emission’s crisis.
[Guardian newspaper 15/06/2019]



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