I didn’t come up with any of this on my own. I discovered it in my
research — in the many activists I interviewed, and the beautiful things they’ve written. These
changes, discoveries, and ideas are already happening throughout society. Youth activists are
advocating for empathy, diverse leadership, and environmental justice. Art that confronts our social and ecological damage and disconnect is becoming more popular. The environmental justice movement has been growing for decades. Many religious ideologies are beginning to incorporate climate change and environmental justice into their philosophical frameworks, following Pope Francis’s global call for climate action with his second encyclical, Laudauto si’. Scientists are forming diverse, international coalitions and incorporating wider skillsets into their work, while many cities are already taking the lead on building innovative, sustainable infrastructure. Investors are going green. Policy makers and philanthropies are beginning to focus on environmental equity. Local climate advocates are winning political battles, and new data and technologies are advancing our energy industry, while renewables are now the cheapest source of energy. Most recently, our country elected a President who will bring the most extensive climate plan yet to the White House. And more and more everyday individuals — from my peers to my grandparents — are beginning to wake up to the fact that we need to change. Explore climate action on the internet and you will discover this as well.
2020 has given us a preview of what our future will be like – more destructive wildfires, freak
storms, new exposures to diseases, racial disparity in the impact of disaster. This is just the
beginning, and we must mobilize now if we are to have a chance at fighting for our future
in the long run. But amidst the onslaught of challenges we’ve brought upon ourselves, we
must not lose sight of our beauty and potential. We must remember the thousands
of languages and art forms we’ve created; our explorations deep into and beyond
our world; our ability to build cities, spaceships, and revolutionary technologies; and
voices like Mozart, Billie Holiday, Yo-Yo Ma, Bob Dylan, and Kendrick Lamar,
who have managed to move the deepest parts of our being. And we
must hold close the thousands of years of culture we’ve woven together in our
time on this planet, that have brought us to this very precipitous point in our history,
where we’ll either tumble or take flight.
Let’s take flight.