by Özgecan Kara
(Özgecan Kara is a member of Young Greens of Turkey. She is a columnist and editor for Yeşil Gazete, the only independent green newspaper of Turkey. For more, check out her blog https://ozgecankara.wordpress.com/hello/ and follow her on Twitter @ozgevon)
I actually didn’t want to write this post and I lingered on it till last minute. Why I should be on the street seemed so obvious and inherent that I found it trivial to write about it. I also had so many reasons and so many things to say that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to put them in words. But I need to speak up.
On September 23 world leaders are meeting in New York in response to the urgent climate action call made by the UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon. On September 20-21 we, the people of the world, are meeting on the streets of the world for People’s Climate Mobilization. I need to explain why I am joining them.
We have already raised the world’s temperature one degree Celsius by burning fossil fuels and emitting CO2. If we keep on consuming fossil fuels at the same rate as we do now, we will heat up the world by best case two, worst case four to seven degrees Celsius. We already see what’s happening to the world with one degree Celsius temperature raise, ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, droughts and floods are everywhere, and typhoons hit the shores. If we keep consuming fossil fuels at the same rate, I can’t even imagine how deadly climate change will be by 2050.
Because of the images of villagers standing in waist deep water where their village used to be; because of the Typhoon Haiyan that killed thousands, injured tens of thousands, and left one thousand people still unaccounted for in the Philippines; because of the floods that kill hundreds of people all over the world and make thousands others homeless every year; because of the anxious mother of a coal miner who is waiting for news of her son after a mine collapse.
Climate change is taking away my right to live. Climate change means certain people acting with impunity as if I, and my kids and their kids, and their grandchildren, and all this earth’s children and this earth’s polar bears yes, but also other flora and fauna and their descendants would never live, would never even exist. Who cares if buildings, corporations, or banknotes exist after 2050?
I don’t want more disruption, insecurity, and wars for more money.
And I am angry. We are working very hard for People’s Climate March and I am angry all the time. I am angry because I am left with no chance but to do this march. I am angry because it is so obvious that unless we stop it, I will suffer from many disasters and it is all because of greed. I am angry because my generation inherited the climate crisis.
I am marching because I know we can change things if we act together
Because I want to leave a world to live in for the next generations
Because it is up to us, humans to stop human induced climate change
Because I don’t want to hear empty promises and pledges again
Because I don’t want leaders to travel to New Yorkjust for empty talks and emit tons of carbon into the atmosphere
Because this earth should not have to host another climate change summit
I am marching because I demand action, not words. I demand future.