All over the world this weekend, in over 2000 cities and towns, people will come together to ask governments to take action on climate change. Here’s my short reflection which I will be sharing at the Dublin march on Sunday.
We are here today because we understand what is at stake.
We have accepted the science.
It tells us our world is in trouble;
We have made a choice that we must act.
Each of us has come on a journey,
And now we stand together.
Shoulder to shoulder,
Speaking with one voice:
We want decisive action.
We regret that too much time has passed,
Too many empty words have been spoken,
Too many excuses have been made.
We just don’t buy it any more.
Too much is at stake.
We are here today because we care.
In our hearts we know
Things cannot continue the way they are going.
We cannot continue to pump out polluting gases
from our homes,
And act like it doesn’t matter.
We are here today because
We believe another world is possible,
We are prepared to put ourselves on the line to build it.
We know that solutions exist
And we are demanding that our leaders step up.
We are here today, above all, because
We know that there are many victims in the climate crisis,
Yet their voices are silent in the corridors of power.
If we stop and listen, we will hear their cries….
Cries of peoples on the tiny atoll islands of the south Pacific,
the drought ridden plains of the Horn of Africa,
the flood hit plains of Bangladesh…
People forced to flee as a result of conflicts and disasters
made far worse by climate change.
Cries the future generations,
our children and grandchildren,
who will face a future of insecurity and conflict,
a burden we seem content to place on their shoulders.
Cries of thousands of other species
with whom we share this beautiful mother earth.
Their cries should be deafening,
yet their silence speaks volumes.
Who will be their voice?
Who will speak for them in Paris?
We are here today because we want to ensure that their voices are heard
in the negotiating rooms in Paris.
That their rights are recognised and protected
and the ecological debt we owe them is paid.
We are here today because
we know that we can only change and build this future
if we connect with each other and make our presence felt.
“To change everything, it takes everyone”.
Neighbour with neighbour,
community with community,
leader with leader,
nation with nation.
Bridging divisions, healing divides.
Finding common purpose.
Right across the world today,
tens of millions of people are coming to the same conclusion.
Our voice of hope is far stronger
than the one that tells us we are doomed.
And let’s be clear: this is just beginning.
Paris will at best, open the door.
But we will not stop,
because our hearts tell us
that this is world is worth fighting for.