My 12 year old niece and I were speaking the other day.
She’s very smart – wants to be a Supreme Court Judge.
I asked her “Do you know what Climate Change is”.
She replied while Instagramming: “Its stuff that’s going to happen billions of years from now”.
I said, “No, its already happening. In fact, its going to make your life MUCH harder. Imagine you earn $ 50,000 today, after expenses you get to spend or save $ 10,000. Now, climate change is going to make life harder for you by making food more expensive, energy more expensive, life more expensive. So you would earn $50,000 15 years from now, but only save or spend $2000. Is that good?”.
She, still instagramming, but now making side-ways eye contact said “Huh?”
I: “It’s happening right now; weather is getting weirder, summers are getting hotter, water shortages are everywhere. And if we don’t do something about it soon, things can get awful quick.”
She: “Oh well, if its going to get awful quickly, there’s no point worrying about it”
I: “We can do something about it. That’s the point. If we act soon enough, we can do something . You, your generation is going to get really affected by this. I can’t believe you guys don’t care. If we cut emissions now: say by buying 10 clothes per month rather than 20, or getting better insulation for your house, or getting more of our energy from windmills and solar, we could make your future so much better. Is that hard to do?”
She: “What can we do”
I: “Well, if you’re interested. I can teach you about climate change: what causes it. What we can do.”
She: “You should get a really popular and influential person to talk about this.”
I: “You can start by following blogs and twitter feeds on climate change and build up support.”
She, getting excited: “Yeah, I can keep posting cool stuff you feed me on Instagram and keep getting people to follow me.”
Now, that’s a start.