We were already over 350ppm when I was born | Jamie Margolin

The devastation is too great. We can’t simply slap solar panels everywhere and call it a day writes 17-year-old climate activist Jamie Margolin

Climate change is such an overwhelming problem that many people understandably want to keep it separate from other issues. After all, the task seems daunting enough already. To avoid catastrophic climate disruption, global emissions of greenhouse gases must be slashed by 45 percent by 2030, requiring unprecedented transformations in energy, agriculture and other key economic sectors, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared last October. But treating the climate crisis as a stand-alone problem is a mistake. Issues of justice—economic justice, racial justice, gender justice, and intergenerational justice—lie at the heart of this crisis, and these injustices must be addressed if the fight for a livable future is to succeed. We can’t simply slap solar panels everywhere and call it a day. We have to dismantle the systems of oppression that gave rise to and perpetuate the climate crisis, including colonialism, racism, and patriarchy.

Many people trace the origins of today’s climate crisis to the Industrial Revolution, when humans first began to burn large amounts of coal, but the crisis’s true roots extend further back to the onset of colonialism. When European colonizers ventured to Africa, Asia, North and South America, they invariably plundered the local natural resources, damaged habitats, hunted species to extinction, and often forced human inhabitants into slavery. Undergirding European colonialism was the assumption that everything on the earth was meant to be extracted, bought and sold—and to make an elite minority very rich. In the eyes of the colonizers, the “new” lands they encountered had no owners—no one had purchased them with a recognizable currency or could prove ownership with property records—so it was free pickings. Along with this attitude came the idea that nothing—not air, not water, not trees, not animals—was sacred or priceless.

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Source: The Guardian
We were already over 350ppm when I was born | Jamie Margolin