It is a real artform to not notice the earth rapidly changing. Already we have watched our summers get hotter and longer, and it's not just our ice cream that will be melting fast.
4 months after her rousing speech at the United Nations, Greta Thunberg spoke to European Union leaders with the same message as before: "panic".
It seems that panicking would be appropriate considering the stark findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report urged that the global average temperature can not rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius - a level that would be devastating, but not catastrophic for human civilisation. Emissions of greenhouse gases need to fall to 45% by 2030 and to zero- yes, ZERO- by 2050. Well, if the adults won't do anything, the students will.
An incredibly capable 16 year old inspired students all over the world to take charge and hold a school strike to prove how serious climate change is. An estimated 1.4 million students raised their collective voices to bring awareness to the urgency of climate change. It was the largest ever global action against the harms of climate change, and it was pulled off entirely by kids!
Being an adult at the strikes, your position was made very clear: listen, don't lead. The youth will have to live on this damaged earth, so it is their voices that must be heard.
These students proposed three clear demands for world governments to enact:
- Aim to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees.
- Stop all exploration for fossil fuels ( as we already have more in our reserves than we can afford to burn to avoid catastrophic climate change).
- Further regulate emissions from agriculture
Not to toot my own horn, but I am a bit of an environmental revolutionary myself. During my entire schooling life I never left the house without my own water bottle! I know, I know, I fully saved some turtles.
As seen with Greta and I - two rainbow warriors - its clear the students are becoming more critical and forward thinking than many policy makers. However, the strike got me thinking: how much longer will fast fashion last when the example of diligent action is being set by children? It is only crucial that every fashion company gets their A into G.
Companies like H&M and ASOS have only just introduced green initiatives but these efforts are in vain. H&M is still sitting in a shocking $4.3 billion worth of unsold stock. They have also been accused of burning 60 tons worth of perfectly decent, unworn clothes. All well after the company had launched and marketed its own "sustainability" measures. The cheap clothes and even cheaper labour don't mean squat when the outcome is still the same: produce as much as possible, as fast as possible and turn it over quick. The same system just colour it green.
Here at Mane Project we know fashion's impact on climate change. We don't claim to be the founder of appropriate practices or have a magic spell to fix it all. We feel like making an effort to change behaviours of both the brand and the consumer will have a significantly positive impact.
So, to every teacher or principal who had an empty school on 15th March 2019 and to family, friends or co-workers who advocate for the earth: Congratulations of your success in educating a generation to think and lead.
Happy Earth Day 2019.
Images via Pinterest