A new world leader, for the new world power: kids
Refreshing isn’t it, to read headlines such as “Kids vs the World in a Landmark New Climate Lawsuit”?
The five countries named in the lawsuit are Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey. At the United Nations Climate Summit this week, fifteen teens filed a lawsuit to attempt to bind these countries into working with other countries to reduce emissions.
The youngsters aim to have the climate crisis classified as a children’s rights issue.
Here is what Greta Thunberg, Swedish environmental activist who spoke at the UN General Assembly September 23 said: “This is all wrong; I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. You have stolen my dreams, my childhood, with your empty words. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line.”
And there is nothing incorrect in what she said. Aylmer kids are preparing to see her in Montreal September 27, and take to the streets closer to home, too. There is a general student strike planned for that day across Canada in line with her visit to Montreal following the UN Climate Summit.
She is being portrayed as a victim of manipulators and unreliable, even by supporters of reducing emissions and other climate-helping movements. Luckily, the generation of youth following Ms Thunberg do not see her as a pawn in someone else’s game. Aylmer’s youth see her as an example to live by, someone who is sounding an alarm to rouse them out of their suburban lull.
Aylmer’s youth need this. The majority of them live in new neighbourhoods without architectural diversity or little stores around the corner that they can walk to and enjoy each other’s company.
A decade ago, Aylmer was promised Gatineau’s first Eco-Village at the site of Connaught Park, the old Hippodrome. Plans included walk-ways and bike-paths to small shops in the ‘heart of the urban village’, as was approved by the city and fought over during a municipal election campaign.
Aylmer’s youth see there is no such thing today on that site. The old horse-racing circle and buildings are concrete proof of adult broken promises on even the most logical ecological nudges in society. That neighbourhood’s closest dépanneur is over half an hour’s walk away outside the area, never mind the promised small bakery or café in the heart of it.
Today, Aylmer’s youth have a new leader, Greta Thunberg. At 16, she is a global force, and she is a guest at the Student Climate Strike of September 27 in Montreal. At the Bulletin, a skeleton crew is staying behind so that parents working at the newspaper can support their kids during the student strike.
From the Bulletin to the youth of Aylmer: You have the right to a planet that can support life; you have the responsibility to do what you can to make the world a better place; you have the skills at your levels to do your best. Please stand up and do just that.