What will it take for the Gen Zs (under 26s) to have a habitable planet?
Switching the metric of progress from uncontrolled growth (the gross domestic product, or, GDP) to citizen wellbeing is an essential first step for the Gen Z’s survival.
Each year, civilization is consuming 1.7 planet’s worth of resources. That’s uncontrolled growth, which is the definition of cancer. Moreover, humans are accelerating this hideous Age of Extinction.
Human existence depends entirely upon the occurrence and wellbeing of a couple million other species and their unspoiled habitats. Everything in nature, on the other hand, can exist without us.
Ninety-six percent of all mammals are now livestock or humans. Just four percent are wild animals. Scandalous. Farmed caged birds comprise 70 percent of all birds left on the planet. Cattle, pigs and sheep account for 60 percent of all living mammals. The other 36 percent are humans. Livestock uses 83 percent of farmland to produce a meager 18 percent of the human population’s calories and 37 percent of its protein. Clearly, we cannot continue destroying the wild animals, polluting the soils and rivers with animal agriculture runoff, and, in turn, deoxygenating and enlarging 530 dead zones in the world’s lakes and oceans.
Nor can we any longer pretend to look the other way while governments annually funnel $5.3 trillion to the wealthiest and biggest polluters: Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Fracking.
Dirty. Damaging. Deadly.
Every second of every minute of every hour more deadly combustion heat is being stored in the oceans. Incidentally, there are 31,556,926 seconds in a year. Each second, the oceans are absorbing the equivalent fossil fuel heat of dropping five Hiroshima bombs. For the record, that’s 157,784,630 atom bombs annually of ocean heat that we are paying the fossil fuel industry to kill our only home.
The oceans drive the climate. Hence, global heating is a planetary catastrophe.
So, how do we pull out of this horrible death spiral?
The fearless Gen Zs are not standing idly by whilst the world’s leaders enrich fossil fuel oligarchs, service multinational corporations and oblige the socially and politically indifferent banks.
Disruption, sacrifice and escalation are the essential ingredients for successful, momentum-driven, disobedient uprising. If 273 million people (3.5 percent of the world’s population) persistently demand social, ecological and climate justice, the world’s leaders will capitulate.
Climate justice is social justice is racial justice. We must continue to fight for justice everywhere. https://t.co/Hh7o39O56M— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) December 8, 2020
The Gen Xs and Baby Boomers have had their chance. The Gen Zs deserve their ‘fair go’. You can change this injustice. Join the righteous global uprising. It’s the purity of heart and sheer grit of this brave movement that makes it unstoppable.
Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster, distinguished conservation biologist and author.
Dr Reese Halter’s upcoming book is
Climate Justice Climate Justice Climate Justice Climate Justice Climate Justice