Last Friday, and before that, schoolgoers in the National Capital Region (and other places) went on a climate strike, inspired by Swedish youth activist Greta Thunberg.
I was glad that students were being a part of the campaign, rather than staying at home and waiting for “others” to act. But the strike has to be accompanied with a lot of back-up action by the strikers. A significant number — though not all of them — were what one might call wealthy, or at least, privileged.
They asked for more responsibility from government on climate change and environmental issues per se. Here’s what I would like to ask them to do: Cut down on their consumption, and that of their communities.
Anyone who went on that strike would be hollow if they still ate meat, or if they are not pushing their entire families to use less private transportation.
These are the young people who should also refuse to sit in a diesel-powered car.
That’s not all. Many of the strikers are at an age when peer pressure matters. They have to be the peers who make having less cool. In turn, they also have to resist the much greater pressure to get new gadgets, clothes and consume more per se.
It is futile to blame without also being the change you want to see. Sure, the big policies are outside many people’s hands and one must raise one’s voice. But one has to also live with much less, more responsibly.
(Founder and Director,Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group)
Apr 15, 2019 00:45 IST