I write this letter heartened and saddened by the disaster that has happened to the Philippines. With absolute sincerity I express my condolences to the victims.
Have we lost sympathy? What has happened to humanity?
I just got back from cross country league run in Gugulethu, after a whole week of endless rain and cold. On my way back to the Southern Suburbs looking over the window, a sight which I will never forget absorbed my attention. Two family shacks had been demolished by the rain, outside these houses two families were standing around the fire shivering with shame written in their eyes. In my mind I thought of one possible cause: “Climate Change”.
You are so true about your business, right? You are representing us, you preach ‘no to equality’, yet millions of people from rural areas are locked out .You preach ‘no person should go hungry’, yet you have not agreed to any concrete adaptation programmes. Look, I am still your friend. True friends must be honest with each other, right? Please tell me why are you are taking so long to agree on possible solutions to a major problem? Would it be possible to agree on some concrete agreements before it is too late?
It is now COP19, as I try to explain this to my grandmother, I am not surprised when she responds ”Two years ago, you told me it was COP17 and now COP19, tell me child is this a game of just counting numbers or are these negotiators really concerned about what is happening to the world?
Regardless of the brief knowledge my grandmother has about the negotiations, it is clear that negotiations have turned the COP’s to nothing but a platform of unfulfilled promises, more emissions emitted while attending these COP’s, luxurious holidays outside their countries when people back home are really suffering the effects of climate change.
It is evidence that climate change has become one the boring and overrated problems facing the world today, but problems associated with climate change continue to escalate. For example “Typhoons” in the Philippines, its leaves one with option but to take action. Of course it is always easier said than done but I believe the youth has power and a role to play over these problems.
Now my question is “Do we need to wait for climate change to claim more lives for the agreement to be reached? Or is it a matter of survival of the fittest”? To me this is no difference as dying a slow painful death.
The two families I referred above possibly did not know anything about climate change, however I believe that this may be an excuse and attempt to take advantage and distance yourselves. Could you imagine yourself helping and becoming more rigid with your solutions? I hope you will answer soon.
If the climate change is not addressed we are setting ourselves for further problems. Now my fellow youth out there the time to act is now. “The youth are the future” so says the government leaders. However, I fail to understand how this is possible when the majority of the negotiators continue to be old people. I appeal to the South African youth, the time to act is NOW, let us show the world leaders that we are concerned and that early or later we are going to be EARTHLESS. Few of the Project 90 by 2015 young inspiring climate leaders have been given an opportunity to attend the COP19 in Poland this year 90×2030, let us be 100% behind them and show that while we are here in South Africa we are concerned about the future of this planet.
Nkosinathi Mncwabe, Project 90 by 2030
Letter published in the Cape Times