At Assembly on October 21st, Ary A., a year 9 student, asked to be given the opportunity to speak to his peers and teachers.
We share his words here:
Dear schoolmates and teachers:
I ask only a couple of minutes of your attention in order to express my deepest concern, that I am sure I share with all of you and with every single boy and girl of our generation around the world.
I am talking about OUR future, and about the delicate state in which our World is now. I am not going to stand here today to address wars, poverty or financial issues. I just want us to reflect about the World’s mere existence. I want us to contemplate the biggest crisis in the history of Mankind.
About a year ago, I started to become interested in learning about global warming and the dreadful effects it has on our planet. The more I read and educated myself, I came to realize that we cannot wait for grown ups to change the trend that they themselves started to generate. The time in which we had a choice of getting involved has already passed. Because, make no mistakes, this crisis has arrived and it is already among us. Since 1970 the amounts of CO2 emissions have increased to double, reaching numbers never recorded before, as did temperature. In only 40 years. According to scientists, if we continue the same trend, the North Pole may completely disappear in a few years time. So will the South Pole after it, accompanied by the unimaginable side effects this would cause. I am talking about hurricanes, earthquakes, whole cities being flooded because of the increase in sea level and also desertification. In our country, we can now say that more than 70% of the land already shows signs of desertification, and is arid or semi-arid.
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the conference of Mr. Al Gore, ex vice-president of the United States and a world-known activist in the fight against Global Warming. While seeing his presentation, I could properly appreciate the devastating power that this crisis has in the world. The message that he transmitted was so profound that it encouraged me to stand here before you and share what I think is a great opportunity of change. Change our habits, our attitude, but mainly our way of thinking.
This is a crucial time! The choices we make today will affect the outcome of our world for future generations.
I would like to invite both students and teachers to join a movement here at St. Andrew’s, involving the participation of national and international organizations that have our same objectives. My goal is for us to educate ourselves, raise awareness about the outcomes this crisis may have and then for us to act as beacons of inspiration to other schools and communities. We should be able to influence grown-ups and our municipal and national authorities to implement new environmentally friendly solutions. Because the only thing we need to make changes is will.
Before I go, I would like to raise a question: Can we afford to stay in the sidelines of history as spectators, while the world suffers its most crucial existential crisis? Or will we get involved? Will we have the moral courage to do something about it?