Filed by Anna Roosvall. “Put yourself in our place. We shall live 40 – 50 years from now. We will still be here. … You may not want to do anything in your four years [at power], because you think that ‘next power holders can do something, I am just here for four years’. But someone must do it, since the next power holders, persons in their 40s or 50s: ‘I am also only here for four, eight years, and then there is the next person’… It is a short time, but we need someone to start. … It is four years of our time that disappear, and we have very many four years left in our lives, compared with them. And I want them to think that ‘this is four important years, and not four years in which I can postpone the problems’”!
The local and the global
“We have perhaps not always had snow in January, but we usually have temperatures below zero Celsius. And it is usually cold, I usually freeze. Now I do not freeze to the same extent.” “Sophie” from Sweden (anonymous), the country where Greta Thunberg started “Fridays for Future”, says she is worried about the warming she has herself experienced in the winter season. She also worries about the earlier springs, which trigger the insects to emerge earlier when spring is warm: “They might die before the migrating birds are back, and then the birds would be out of food; it is the whole cycle”. Sophie is also worried about food and the farmers produce; and not least about the people and the animals living in the North of Sweden, where they depend on snow for their lives several months of the year.
Sophie says the activists she knows are pretty good at reporting on global climate change, “but we do not know enough about what is happening in Sweden. Often, “we go around and just say: Oh, forests are burning in Australia, in Brazil, there is a flood in Jakarta. But we do not know that our own mountain top in the North, Kebnekaise is lower, due to ice melting”. She thinks the media and activists need to pay more attention to what is happening locally in Sweden. “It is not as serious, and thus it is oftentimes ignored. However, local reporting would create more attention among people who live in Sweden, such as “Wow, we are also affected by this!”
She is part of a group connected with Fridays for Future, started by famous activist Greta Thunberg, but also has some background from Greenpeace. During the demonstrations, they sometimes meet with opponents, such as climate deniers. “Sometimes we have one demonstrator, with his posters about why the IPCC-report is a fake. He says: “If you just google this, you will find three results, which say so.” Sophie says there is not much they can do about this. They also receive much hateful comments, as well as hateful e-mail messages, some also from abroad. “Some are not hateful, but they mock us. However, we delete and ignore.”
She has also met with parents who accuse the group of scaring their children. She tells of one parent who says her 7-year-old daughter has nightmares about the climate and the world going under due to our disruption of the climate. “This is reasonable, we think, that she has nightmares. I mean, many of us have this”. She recommends such parents to do something about the climate, and engage their children, “so they can feel they are doing something. Then, perhaps it does not feel so dangerous anymore. But it is very contagious.”
Listen to researchers!
Sophie also challenges the political parties to take the climate movement seriously. “It should be an important factor for all parties, this is something which will affect the society. It does not matter what political ideology one adheres to.” She recommends listening to climate researchers: “they have the answers, and they know how to proceed.” She does not think it is up to the youth movement to come up with the most specific claims. “It is not our responsibility as children to tell the politicians what they need to do!”