‘Every activist has a story to tell, every story has a solution to give, and every solution has a life to change’
Vanessa Nakate, Ugandan climate activist
Those of us privileged enough to live in communities, areas or demographics which aren’t yet being directly impacted – or not as seriously, anyway – right now need to listen.
“Africa must no longer be forgotten or discarded… In Africa, we no longer hope to fight for our future, we fight for our present and to survive,” writes Kaossara Sani, a climate activist and educator from Togo.
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“Our house has been on fire for over 500 years, since the beginning of the genocide that was and is colonialism in our lands,” writes Nia, an independent Argentinian activist of indigenous descent, in their piece, a poignant reflection on erasure and privilege.
Asam Sbaih, a contributor from Palestine, writes that “Palestinians depend especially on the international community to act, since we live in a small country that faces dozens of political and existential problems”.
It’s because of situations like this that it is so important that the governments of countries like the UK, US and others in the global north act to mitigate the effects of this crisis that we caused, effects that are impacting most severely the communities which had the least hand in creating them.
And world leaders, especially those of the most privileged countries, who seem to assume they will mostly be dead by the time the crisis cuts deepest, have to listen to the youth.
It’s easy to set targets for a distant 2050 when you believe that by then you’ll be gone, or too old to have to deal with the consequences, or actually try to meet those targets.
It’s easy to keep consuming when you don’t think you’ll have to live with the impacts. Even those who will still be around normally have a such a level of wealth and privilege that they will be able to escape much of the crisis they’ve caused.
“Every activist has a story to tell, every story has a solution to give, and every solution has a life to change,” says Vanessa Nakate, a Ugandan climate activist and author of the upcoming book A Bigger Picture, who also contributed to my book.
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So I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Tomorrow is Too Late, or read articles about it, and extracts from it! You can go to the book’s website to find videos from the contributors and more.
However you do it, I hope you’ll find a way to hear the voices of these young people, because every single one of them is vital to this fight.
This article is taken from the latest edition of The Big Issue magazine. If you cannot reach local your vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.