Reflectorial: We must demand change
Being passionate is easy. But acting on that passion is a different story.
With the final classes of my journalism degree quickly coming to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I have and can continue to contribute to the world.
There are a lot of issues to be passionate about, but recently, one I’ve been considering daily is climate change and human impact on the environment. Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. We are already late to the chase and have caused irrevocable damage to the planet. We should have acted years ago. We need change now.
(If you have no idea what the big deal about climate change is, make sure to read Amber McLinden’s comprehensive and informative piece about climate change in Canada in this issue, for an excellent introduction.)
We are living in a time that requires fundamental change. We are seeing mass migration across the globe. In China, masses of people are moving from rural areas to industrial cities in some of the largest numbers this century. According to CNN, “the Chinese government plans to move 2 million people from their remote villages to the province’s cities, in an effort that began in 2012 and is set to continue into 2020.”
Thousands of Central Americans are currently moving in migrant caravans toward the border of the United States in search of a better life.
My point is, the world is changing. But if we have any hope of eliciting real change, we need to alter the state of the world. We need to mobilize in large numbers. We need to take a stand for what we believe in.
Think about times in the past that people have taken to the streets to fight for what they believe in. We have seen mass-scale change as a result of the late 20th century Women’s Movements and Occupy Wall Street, stemming change toward increased gender and economic equality. There are countless examples and we can do it again.
It can be hard to maintain hope when we live in such a polarized world in which lies are spread consistently. It can be hard to maintain hope when we can trace the cancerous impact humankind has had on the planet.
But we must have hope. If we are going to create a world worth living in for future generations, we need to fundamentally change how our society functions. We need to find solutions and put our faith in them.
Recently, I was listening to a podcast about the Extinction Rebellion from Novara Media (definitely worth a listen). Extinction Rebellion is a fascinating movement that began in the U.K., demanding truthful communication about climate. According to their website, the Rebellion demands “legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels,” and “a national Citizen’s Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.”
The podcast discussion centers around the launch of Extinction Rebellion and its possibilities. Guardian columnist George Monbiot encourages a narrative of change-fueled optimism. If we do not remain hopeful about the state of the world, it can be easy to step back and remain complacent. There are solutions and we can find them.
So, I encourage you to not only recognize what you’re passionate about, but to act on it.
– Publishing Editor, Robyn Welsh