By Irwin Jerome
The youth of the world everywhere blow bubbles on behalf of Mother Earth in support of implementing in every nation things like, a: Carbon Tax; New Green Deal; Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground; institute a World Peace Academy; Ban all Nuclear Weapons and Plastic Bottles; and so many other things that corrupt and pollute this world and all of life. Always with the hope in mind that their elders will suddenly wake up, follow their lead and create a truly multicultural coexistence in a truly worldwide human nation based upon: One Human Race, One Nation, One Mother Earth.
Meanwhile, however, the adults of the world and their political parties in every nation continue to either totally deny these needs, pay lip service to them or move at a glacial rate of speed to do anything positive to implement them all. The gap is monstrously huge between those who truly love the earth, all of life and want to preserve it while those who don’t care don’t mind continuing to rape her and rip everything they can out of her bowels while pillaging everything atop her whole body until the point where she’s virtually camatose and all but dead.
The youth of the world, and all those adults who would follow their lead, are starved for the essence of a healthy life and a healthy planet that will continue forever, while their so-called adult leaders may continue to talk a good game about the need to preserve the earth and make the world a better place in which to live and raise all the children of the future, but in the end remain too selfish, too self-centered, and always want their cake and eat it too.
Greta Thunberg, the 16 year-old Swedish climate protector activist who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on behalf of the environment, and more recently was the recipient of a Golden Camera (Goldene Kamera) Award for her environmental activism, recently spoke in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin to 25,000 demonstrators who were protesting in support of preserving their Hambach Forest that is being threatened by the expansion of a German RWE coal mine.
Following her Goldene Kamera award, Greta commented on Facebook:
There is no recording available of the speech I gave at the Golden Kamera Award ceremony without being dubbed into German so, here it is in English: I dedicate this award to the people fighting to protect the Hambach Forest. And to activists everywhere who are fighting to keep the fossil fuels in the ground.
We live in a strange world where here all the united sciences tell us that we are about 11 years away from setting off an irreversible chain reaction way beyond human control that will probably be the end of our civilization as we know it. We live in a strange world where children must sacrifice their own education in order to protest against the destruction of their future: where the people who have contributed the least to this crisis are the ones who are going to be affected the most; where politicians say it’s too expensive to save the world, while spending trillions of euros subsidizing fossil fuels. We live in a strange world: where no one dares to look beyond our current political systems even though its clear that the answers we seek will not be found within the politics of today; where some people seem to be more concerned about the presence in school of some children than the future of humankind; where everyone can choose their own reality and buy their own truth; where our survival is depending on a small, rapidly disappearing carbon budget, and hardly anyone even knows it exists. We live in a strange world; where we think we can buy or build our way out of a crisis that has been created by buying and building things; where a football game or a film gala gets more media attention than the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced; where celebrities, film and pop-stars who have stood up against all injustices will not stand up for our environment and for climate justice because that would inflict on their right to fly around the world visiting their favorite restaurants, beaches and yoga retreats.
Avoiding catastrophic climate breakdown is to do the seemingly impossible. And that is what we have to do. But here is the truth: we can’t do it without you in the audience here tonight. People see you celebrities as Gods. You influence billions of people. We need you. You can use your voice to raise awareness about this global crisis. You can help turn individuals into movements. You can help us wake up our leaders – and let them know that our house is on fire.
We live in a strange world. But it’s the world that my generation has been handed. It’s the only world we’ve got. We are now standing at a crossroads in history. We are failing but we have not yet failed. We can still fix this. It’s up to us.
Listening to Greta Thunberg’s words, the lyrics from Midnight Oil’s legendary song The Bed is Burning began to echo over and over again in this writer’s mind: :
The time has come. A fact’s a fact It belongs to them Let’s give it back! How can we dance when our earth is turning? How do we sleep while our beds are burning? How can we dance when our earth is turning? How do we sleep while our beds are burning? The time has come to say fair’s fair! To pay the rent now,. to pay our share. The time has come! A fact’s a fact! It belongs to them. We’re gonna give it back. How can we dance when our earth is turning? How do we sleep while our beds are burning?
Reporter Reto Thumiger (https://www.pressenza.com/2019/03/fridays-for-future-25000-demonstrate-in-berlin-with-greta-thunberg) said that while listening to Greta Thunberg’s speech another related speech he previously had heard at a Silo.com celebration in 2004 in Punta de Vacas, Argentina, given by Mario Rodriguez Cobos, also began to simultaneously echo in his head. Especially when Cobos began:
Dear Friends. We have failed… but we keep insisting! We have failed but keep insisting with our project of humanizing the world. We have failed and we will continue to fail not just once but a thousand times again, because we ride on the wings of a bird named Intent that soars above frustration, weakness and pettiness. The force that gives life to our flight is faith in our destiny, it is faith in the justice of our action, it is faith in our selves it is faith in the human being. Because this is not the end of History, nor the end of ideas, nor the end of mankind; neither is it the definitive triumph of wickedness and manipulation. And for this reason we can always continue on in our attempt to change things and to change ourselves. This is the intent worth living because it is the continuation of the best aspirations of the good people who came before us. It is the intent worth living because it is the precursor of future generations who will transform the world. Two great souls who struggled against discrimination and injustice accompany our gathering. Inspirational guides of non-violence: Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, who both knew failure but never slackened in their intent. Today they are very much present in our minds and in our hearts in this unfortunate world where force and injustice reign over the countryside and the cities. How are they thinking of ending the violence?
Perhaps they think they are an inspiring example for new generations when they rant against the world in the guise of a: video game; when they threaten like the worst kind of bully, or; when they send their children to invade, to kill, and to die in distant lands.
This is not a good path, nor is it a good example. Perhaps they think that returning to the primitive practice of the death penalty will set a great social example. Perhaps they think that by increasingly penalizing the crimes committed by children, crime will disappear… or the children will disappear! Perhaps they believe that by applying “iron fist” tactics on the streets, the streets will become safe. Certainly these problems exist and are today multiplying, but peace will not result from a violent approach to violence.
Peace will not be achieved from a zoological vision of life that promotes the struggle for survival, the struggle for the domination by the fittest. That myth will not work. Peace will not come about by manipulating words or by censuring genuine protests against all abuses and all atrocities perpetrated against the human being. At this point I will be careful not to mention “human rights” because these have also been emptied of content and falsified in their meaning. Nowadays, defenseless populations are bombed so that their human rights may be protected
Peace will not be achieved from that zoological vision of life that encourages a social order based on reward and punishment, transferring animal domestication to the honorable citizen who begins to be trained in mistrust, accusation and the marketing of affection. “Something needs to be done”, is what you hear everywhere. Very well then I will tell you what must be done, but nothing will come of it because no one will listen.
At the international level, all who are invading territories of others should withdrawn immediately and comply with the resolutions and recommendations if the United Nations. I say that at the internal level of each nation, an effort must be made to make law and justice function, as imperfect as they may be, before making laws tougher and enacting represssive measures that play into the very hands of those who now obstruct law and justice. I say that at the domestic level people should practice what they preach and leave behind the hypocritical rhetoric that poisons the new generations. I say that at the personal level each person should strive to make their thoughts coincide with their feelings and their actions, shaping a coherent life and thus escaping from the conradicition that generates violence.
But nothing of what is said will be listened to. Nonetheless, events themselves will succeed in making the invaders retreat, will cause the tough guys to be repudiated by the people, who will demand the simple observance of the law; will result in children rejecting the hypocrisy of their parents; and cause each person to reporach the contradiction that they generate in themselves and in those around them.
We are at the end of a dark period in history and nothing will ever be the same as before. Little by little, the dawning of a new day will come. Cultures will begin to understand one an other; the peoples will experience a growing yearning for progress for all. Understanding that progress for the few ends up being progress for no one. Yes, there will be peace, and out of necessity it will be understood that the outline of a universal human is taking shape. In the meantime we, the unheard, will work from today on, all over the world, to put pressure on the decision makers, to disseminate the ideals of peace based on the methodology of non-violence so as to prepare the way for the new times.
Yes, it is worthwhile that this Message and that this Universal Humanism gain strength. It is worthwhile for young people to swell the ranks of this Moral Force as a variant of History….so that this current becomes unstoppable and its murmur hears in all the languages of the Earth. Then the new generation will begin to teach the adults with new affection and new understanding.
Finally, my friends, I want to share with all of you this profound certainty that says, “The Sacred is within us and nothing bad can happen in this profound search for the Un-nameable. I believe that something very good will happen when human beings find the Meaning, so many times lost and so many times found again in the twists and turns of History.
Friends, I would like this Message of the Profound to be heard. It is not a strident Message but a quiet message that cannot be heard when one tries to trap it. Friends, I would like to transmit the certainty of immortality. But how could what is mortal generate something immortal? Perhaps we should rather ask ourselves, how it is posssible for the immortal to generate the illusion of mortality. How good it is to be here and together considering the present and the future. How good it is that at this moment thousands of friends in different latitudes are witnessing this gathering. On the other hand, these words reach very far and we no longer need to seek out of the way places in order to express ourselves without giving offense. Therefore, it becomes necessary to apologize to those who might have felt attacked by our words; words which have not been intended to be taken personally but rather refer to specific situations and historical moments. As our words die away into the calm, our looks take their place…our looks find one another and are deeply understood as we greet all of you, from heart to heart.
One wonders what other words of wisdom were echoing in the minds of all those who gathered at the recent Hambach Forest protest in Berlin, or who were present in 2004 in Punta de Vacas, Aargentian when Mario Rodriguez Cobos poured forth his own words of wisdom? Or what thoughts simultaneously are echoing ‘round the world as Youth for Climate continue to everywhere gather to blow their bubbles to our Mother Earth, to Life and to One Another in the hope that their elders finally will hear their hearts?
Bio Note: Jerome Irwin is a freelance writer-activist who, for decades, has sought to call attention to problems of sustainability caused by excessive mega-development, over-population and the ensuing horrors of degradation to the earth and host of related environmental-ecological-spiritual issues and concerns that exist between the conflicting philosophies of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.