The climate crisis looms overhead like the Grim Reaper for us all, especially young people. We have been born into this crisis. Many of us are growing up in fear and anxiety about what will happen to us in a few short years.
This fear is so strong and overwhelming that people have even started calling it “climate despair.”
In response, many make individual choices such as going vegan or carpooling to cut down on emissions. While such efforts and intentions are commendable, we must acknowledge that these individual acts are not and cannot be enough.
And ultimately, poor and working-class people are being blamed for the crisis, which is an act of gaslighting by the capitalist class, who are the ones actually responsible for this. Just 100 oil corporations were found responsible for 70 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. The sheer scale of this destruction is to ensure wealth is passed into fewer and fewer hands.
We must acknowledge that capitalism is responsible for this crisis. An economic system that prioritizes profits above all means that capitalists see our earth’s natural resources, ecosystems and animals as disposable.
That includes people, too — as Bolsonaro’s government in Brazil lets the Amazon burn and leaves Indigenous people to die. As it currently stands, poor Black, Indigenous, Latinx and people of color will see the worst consequences of this crisis, such as extreme heat, water shortages and loss of shorelines, while wealthy whites will have the means to escape it. This is not conjecture — this comes from the mouths of climate scientists and their reports.
A young person named Greta Thunberg from Sweden has become a prominent figure as of late, having started a movement of students striking every Friday worldwide for the climate. Thunberg will be attending the climate strikes starting Sept. 20 in New York City, as well as the 2019 UN Climate Summit. She has called for civil disobedience and for politicians to “take the science seriously.”
Her movement constitutes a fantastic starting place, as strikes are one of the most effective tools of the people. What would make her movement even stronger would be embracing the overthrow of capitalism.
IT IS NOT TOO LATE. We can still turn the direction of this global crisis around. Young people need to mobilize for the climate crisis. We, the working class, can bring down the capitalist class. This world will soon be ours, and it is up to us to lead it into a future where capitalism has been abolished and the worst of the climate crisis has been mitigated.