The new generation has been taking to the streets in recent years to demand more government action to fight climate change, and they have good reasons to do so.
The “Fridays for Future” movement is one example of this, demonstrating that climate change is a serious threat looming over the futures of our children. Climate change will not only affect the future. It is already impacting the lives of young people today.
Rising Sea Levels
There are already some places in the world that are experiencing disastrous consequences of rising sea levels. The children living in the Marshall Islands are already suffering the consequences of rising sea levels. It is believed that the region will likely become uninhabitable within a single generation.
This would mean that 50,000 inhabitants would need to find homes somewhere else. This is not merely an inconvenience. It would mean losing a home for thousands of people. Furthermore, it’s an end to a culture and way of life that has existed for many years and gave the people a cultural identity.
The island nation of Kiribati, located in the Pacific Ocean, has taken measures to ensure their survival by purchasing land on Fiji. This way, they can soon migrate from their home to a place of higher ground.
In Bangladesh, 19 million children are dealing with regular flooding because of the higher sea level. This also brings extreme rain, cyclones, and saltwater that intrudes on their ecosystem. This decreases the availability of freshwater and causes adverse effects on the health of the children living there.
Climate scientists have noticed a rising trend of tropical storm frequency and severity. The cyclone Idai in Mozambique created an upheaval of the lives of 1.5 million people in the region. Half of them were children. As a result, many of the survivors lost their homes and family members. The critical infrastructure of the nation was lost, including schools and hospitals. Children were forced to live in homeless shelters and suffer conditions that endanger their health.
Rising temperatures cause more frequent heat waves that create dangerous conditions for people outside for long periods. This is especially a problem for agricultural workers who make up about 40% of the world’s labor force. People who depend on outdoor work for their livelihoods are sometimes forced to put their health and life at risk during heatwaves. This also threatens the world food supply and also negatively impacts the world economy.
Some reasons have already seen an increase in drought conditions. Some regions affected by this include west areas of Asia, parts of South America and the Mediterranean. The drought in the Eastern Mediterranean region between 2007 and 2010 was longer and more intense than any other in the last 900 years.
Children don’t have much influence on world leaders to safeguard their future. The decisions that will impact their lives are in the hands of finance organizations, governments, and greedy corporations willing to sell out the future of the new generation for short-term profits.
Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg summed up the situation. She eloquently suggested that world leaders act as if their house were on fire because the rising temperatures threaten to destroy the planet’s ecosystem.