10 dec. 2009

I am ashamed...

...to say that the main reason as to why I sit down now in front of my laptop to write this entry is because I had been assigned this day of the blogging schedule and told by my delegation leader that it was very important that I contribute to the blog, if only on this day. And so I started thinking about what topic to discuss. “Fossil of the Day” slipped through my mind, but then, Filippa had already addressed Sweden's rather embarrassing shared second place just a few days earlier. I considered several other events that had taken place inside and outside of the Bella center, but no matter how hard I tried, everything I wrote seemed to me, well, rather stupid.And so I chose to write something from a broader perspective, something about the very reason why I am active within the youth climate movement. And here it comes. It may be ill-informed, naïve, and, even, stupid, but it's what I feel and it's what I want to write about. So, well, deal with it.

Skanör is a small town in the very southwest of Sweden. It is where I grew up. It is famous for its beaches that are long stretches of the most fine-grained white sand you could imagine. In the summer they are packed with hordes of tourists from all over the world but when the winds grow chilly and the days grow shorter and darker, the tourists go home and leave behind them incredibly beautiful landscapes, with an untamed deep blue sea that stretches out to the horizon, white sand that forms little hills and valleys, and the small pastel-coloured dots that are the, for Skanör so typical, bath huts. It is my favourite spot in the world. I go there to think. I go there when I'm happy and when I'm sad. I go there to hang out with my friends and I go there when I need to be alone. I love it more than any other place in the world but in not too many years from now it might be gone.

That's the harsh truth of our changing climate. Many coastal areas will most likely suffer from heavy flooding if no immediate action is taken. And I am (at least partly) aware of how privileged I am. If our house in Skanör floods, we have the money and the opportunity to move somewhere else, that is situated on higher ground. Many people are not so lucky.

But I don't want Skanör to disappear. I do not want to see the beaches of my hometown disappear under rising water levels. I think I remember the very thought that made me join the climate youth movement. And it was: “I want my children to see the beaches of Skanör”. The sadness I feel at the possibility of so many wonderful things being gone by the time my future children are the same age as I am today, is so overwhelming that it becomes hard to grasp. I can't imagine and I do not want to imagine such a future but sadly it only becomes likelier as the leaders seem to grow less and less optimistic about their ability and power to change the road we're currently on.

I may not know all the specifics of climate change. I may not be able to name-drop environmental scientists or understand everything that is said at meetings or in resolutions. I may not know everything but I do know how I feel. And I am concerned. For myself, for the people of the world and for generations to come. More than that, I'm afraid. I'm scared because I have no idea of what my future will look like. What I can count on to still be there when I'm 59 (which is how old I will be in 2050). When I die, will Skanör be long-gone, a modern-day Atlantis?

I want the politicians to understand that the future they are deciding about now is the future we young people will be forced to live in. We and future generations are the ones who will have to take the consequences of the decisions they make today.

Phew. Now, If you read all that, you're good. Give yourself an appreciative pat on the shoulder.

Matilda Borgström

1 kommentar:

Dad sa...

I read it all!!

The scenario is...

...very realistic and probable
...easy to understand for everyone
...very well described

It's not life threatening but very sad. Hope we can avoid it.

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