We are the ones we have been waiting for
Part of a speech from the Climate Conference at Lindersvold by Gert Tjoelker
A conference about Global Warming and Climate Change must also be a conference about our lives and our future, and that of the rest of Humanity. Because it is that reach and depth that global warming and climate change has. Its impact on life on earth and our lives is huge. So, coming together for a conference like this is a very good idea and an excellent way to use our time.
The difference in awareness and knowledge about Climate Change now, compared to 30 years ago is huge. What was a growing conviction amongst some scientists 30 years ago and what was mostly unknown to the general public, is now tested and accepted by the scientific community as a real thing, that really takes place, plus there is a great awareness about it today amongst world citizens.
So, looking at us here, young people we can call ourselves, (and for those who feel excluded when I say that: please include yourselves. And for those who feel patronized for being called young, while you are obviously a grown-up: please we need you very much like the grown-up that you are!)
So looking at us here, young people, I see us as both doomed and blessed.
We are doomed because we stand at the enormous abyss of the greatest crisis in Human History, but we are blessed because we have got what it takes to deal with this crisis.
We are probably the smartest, most educated, most knowledgeable, most irritable and annoying, most healthy, most empowered, most conscious, most honest, most emotional, most brainy and most needy young generation ever. We are a generation that is overwhelmed by the knowledge and information about the world that we live in. We are so rich with impressions that we cannot explain to each other how much it is that we do understand and how much it is that we don’t. At the same time as each one of us here has some deep knowledge about ourselves in relation to the world of today, each of us also has some deep questions.
We have this hunger for sharing what is living deep inside of us and we want to throw it in the air, put it on the table so we can discuss it and get wiser about it. We are hungry to take charge of our lives together with each other. And through sharing our knowledge, understanding, doubts, and questions, through networking, we get clear about things together, we build up this huge common force, like a frontline, of knowledge, understanding, conviction and action.
And this is exactly what we need. Because in front of us there is a crisis that can best be visualized as a dance til death-do-us-part between a multi-headed beast representing Capitalism-Run-Amok and Nature itself represented by Climate-Out-Of-Balance. And while during the dance the one Capitalism-Run-Amok increases the subtraction of Fossil Fuels and increases once more the CO2 emissions in the game, Climate-Out-Of-Balance throws back a collection of Superstorms, Superfloods, Super droughts, Mass extinction of plants and animals, Super landslides, Super meltdowns and what you have more…
The balance that there used to be between the trees, the plants, the seas, the animals and the climate is spinning out of control. This balance used to be almost like the balance inside an organism. All the different processes keeping each other in check. But that balance is quickly disappearing and is destroying nature on earth as we know it.
And the multiheaded beast?! Isn’t it made from people? Do they have no reason? Apparently not! And we should not think that this beast has just been around for the last 30 years. We should not forget that the first scientists who discussed the rising of CO2 levels warming up our planet, did so, 130 years ago. The world has developed a lot in these 130 years. Small leads have led to big changes. But not for Climate science, there was almost an 80 years gap, until the late 60s, where nothing happened! Who is to blame for that!?
Our beast, alive and kicking, has been so for at least 130 years! Exxon Mobil knew everything there was to know about climate change already by the mid-1980s through their elaborate research, but they have spent the last 30 years systematically funding climate denial and lying about the science.
The beast is very much in action during Climate Disasters. Some of you might know that the majority of the poor people of New Orleans never got their homes back after the floods!
We need to anticipate our future, our Open Future. Where are we heading?
What are our goals? In all the worlds stories about the future of the world, there are so few happy endings. We are so damned good in imagining our end, our going down, biting the dust, apocalypse, no more, the end of all times, robots taking over, controlled by aliens, and so on and so forth.
What about dreaming and planning and designing our own future?! Have you ever tried that? Create your own fate instead of waiting for it to come? We need to start to dream! We need to stop imagining the end of our days, but instead, start to imagine our Open Future! The time is right for this!
The kicking in of the renewable energies is taking place and it democratizes the whole energy question. Because everyone with wind turbines and solar panels can get energy from wherever they are. This is truly revolutionizing. Garden Farming falls into the same category. If we all make our own food or buy from our neighbors, the bad custom of supermarket foods to travel all over the globe will end and we will actually be in charge of feeding ourselves.
Then we have all the grassroots movements. Doing good and progressive work for humankind, taking a stand to the evil and letting themselves be heard. How to connect all these grassroots political groups with progressive political parties.
So it is a good time to dream! It is there where great things always start! And we have got what it takes, even though it might take all that we have got!