September 13th, 2018
Last Saturday marked a day for people all over the world to demand immediate action from their governments in combating climate change. Rise for Climate aimed to finally awake the sleeping masses in light of the threat that will affect our lives immensely.
In many countries, this is the greatest climate mobilization ever organised. The event in Trinity College Dublin was among more than 900 events around the globe.
Many volunteer organisations and NGOs gathered to mobilise and connect, together with concerned societies from Trinity College.
One of the groups involved, Concern Worldwide, led a coffee conversation called Project Us, an Irish Aid funded movement to host conversations and share ideas, raise climate concerns and connect.
In this conversation, the task at hand was to discuss the Sustainable Development Goals, established in 2015 to address social, economic and environmental issues that concern everyone on this planet.
It is clear that the need to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts is crucial for achieving the SDGs. Goals such as fighting inequality cannot be accomplished if societies do not address the biggest change to our lives such as climate change that already defines generations.
Climate Action (Goal 13) follows many attributing targets, such as to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related disasters, as well as to build knowledge and capacity to meet climate change.
Focus on positive solutions
This Rise for Climate event focused on solutions and managed to keep the visitors positive despite the imminent reality we are facing.
At one talk, Dr Patrick Bresnihan, Assistant Professor of Geography at TCD, pointed out that we should not despair even though we know that climate change will affect every aspect of our lives.
Rather, its massive global impact can be a potential for a positive change in consciousness towards our relationship with nature, he said.
Dr Bresnihan discussed climate change denial which hinders our young generations chances of being safe in a changing world. He pointed to the case of the brave Swedish pupil Greta Thunberg, who went on school strike until the general election in Sweden, exclaiming: ‘I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.”
Hope lies in our children
It is crucial that the education system embraces children’s unique talents and educates about the threat of climate change.
Climate resilience will be very important in the years ahead and has to be taught with methods such as storytelling, meditation and by trusting children’s individual learning strategies. Several Global Goals connect here such as that of a quality education (Goal 4).
Further, the education system has to catch up on children’s needs and adapt to holistic schools such as Montessori, Sudbury, Waldorf or Educate Together if it wants to provide our youth with the coping strategies that a modern world needs in times of climate change.
The conservation of the environment is linked to all social and economic issues, which makes climate action the most urgent Global Goal.
Despite our government’s poor performance in meeting many Sustainable Development Goals, Ireland has the potential to become a leader in tackling climate change with its amazing success as the first country in the world to divest public funds from fossil fuels.
Thanks to many organisations such as Not Here, Not Anywhere which pushed for divestment, our country will hopefully continue to act towards these Global Goals.