By: Frederic Hauge
I want to apologize to the many young people for the fact that we have not fixed the climate problem. Children and youth have every right to be pissed off, writes Frederic Hauge.
Young people in Norway and the whole world understand the seriousness of the climate threat. Now they are striking for the climate.
I want to apologize to the many young people for the fact that we have not fixed the climate problem. We adults should be ashamed that we have let it get this bad. Much has improved over the last few decades, but now the climate problem threatens us in a way that overshadows everything else. Many people are affected by climate change today, and many more will be affected in the near future.
Children and adolescents have every right to be pissed off. The striking students deserve our support and tribute, and to demand that we work much harder to ensure the cuts in emissions we have promised. Today we at Bellona are cheering for the students who are striking for climate cuts and we applaud their important efforts to awaken us all. It is sad that some are ridiculing the young people who are fighting for their own future and that of their own childr
en. This clearly shows the importance of standing up, and it makes the youth strikes extra important.
We who live in one of the world’s richest countries, with huge revenues from oil and gas, have an extra responsibility to solve the problem and find the solutions.
I have spent my entire life since quitting school at age 17 on environmental battle, first in the organization Nature and Youth, and then in The Bellona Foundation. Although I am tired, angry and disappointed that we have not managed to get any further in this fight, we have also achieved many victories. Bellona has shown that one can achieve results if one fights. I hope that Bellona offers some inspiration to the youth to keep struggling and to work to find solutions. Because they exist. We have helped develop them – now we must put them to use.
But we are small compared to the enormous forces arrayed a
gainst us. Therefore, it warms the heart of an old white man who is crowding 60 to see thousands of young people participate in the climate fight. It is an inspiration – and we will not give up.
Failing in the climate fight is an option that we cannot accept. This applies to us in Bellona, as well as to politicians, business and other spheres in society. It also applies to ordinary people. We all have a responsibility for what we do, who we vote for, what we tell our nearest and dearest and what we communicate on social media.
Norway must make responsible choices so that we become the driving force we wish to be. The oil age has made us a rich country. We owe it to ourselves and the world to carry out an extensive restructuring today. It will not only give us the right foundation for the future; it will help propel the whole world in the right direction. Tiny Norway is, in fact, that important. If we want to be.
Congratulations to all the students who walked out of school to strike for the climate. You are wise enough to be part of the solution instead of the problem – and to educate yourselves enough to know to fight for the climate, even if you are today away from school.
You are an invaluable force for change. Now we have to act!