With their future at stake, and fed up with inaction to curb climate change, youth leaders are announcing plans for the iMatter March, to mobilise youth against climate change. They are preparing to march in the streets and appeal to the courts in a series of just started legal and administrative actions against the 50 states and federal government.
WHAT: Youth-led marches to urge government action to reduce our fossil fuel emissions and halt climate change
WHEN: May 7 – 14. Full listings available at www.imattermarch.org/march/all-marches
WHERE: Marches will be held across the country, organized by local youth.
“Young people will be affected most by decisions that are made today and yet we can't vote, and we don't have money to compete with lobbyists,” said Alec Loorz, the 16-year-old founder of iMatter,. “We do, however, have the moral authority and the legal right to insist that our future be protected.”
The marches will take place May 7 – 14 across the U.S. and in countries around the world. Both the marches and the lawsuits are focused on getting governments to stop caving into the demands of oil and coal lobbyists and to create “climate recovery plans.” These plans, based on the best science, will establish peak global carbon dioxide emissions by 2012, reduce carbon dioxide emissions on a global scale by at least 6 percent every year and commit to widespread global reforestation.
Alec Loorz is the 16 year old visionary of the iMatter campaign and founder of Kids vs Global Warming, a project of Earth Island Institute. A climate change activist since he was 12 years old he has now filed a lawsuit against the United States of America, for allowing money to be more powerful than the survival of his generation, and for making decisions that threaten young people's right to a safe and healthy planet.
He says "Our parents' and grandparents' generation have created a problem. They've developed a society that depends on burning fossil fuels, like coal and oil, to survive. They never realized that there were any huge consequences to running our lives with fossil fuels. But now, we do.
Our addiction to fossil fuels is messing up the perfect balance of nature and threatening the survival of my generation. If we continue to hide in denial and avoid taking action, my and I generation will be forced to grow up in a world where hurricanes as big as Katrina are normal, people die every year because of heat waves, droughts, and floods, and entire species of animals we've come to know disappear right before our eyes.
This is not the future I want. And I know that we still have a chance to turn this picture around. But, it's going to take more than changing lightbulbs and buying hybrid cars. I believe it will take nothing less than a revolution... a revolution in our entire culture and way of thinking, so that we value nature and the future of my generation with every action we take.
And I believe this revolution needs to be led by youth. It's our future we're fighting for, and we are some of the most creative, dedicated, and passionate people on the planet. We have the moral authority to look into our parents and leaders eyes and ask them, "Do I matter to you?"
Also, as youth, we are the last group of people in the US who don't have any official political rights. We can't vote, we certainly can't compete with rich corporate lobbyists... So we are forced to simply trust our government to make good decisions on our behalf.
However, it's become clear that our government has failed us, by not protecting the resources on this planet we need to survive. Even though scientists overwhelmingly agree that CO2 emissions are totally messing up the balance of our atmosphere, our leaders continue to turn their backs on this crisis.
The time has come for the youngest generation to hold our leaders accountable for their actions
The government has a legal responsibility to protect the future for our children. So we are demanding that they recognize the atmosphere as a commons that needs to be preserved, and commit to a plan to reduce emissions to a safe level.
The plaintiffs and petitioners on all the cases are young people. We are standing up for our future.
But we will not only stand up in the courts. We will stand up in the streets as well.
Starting this Mothers' Day weekend, the youngest generation will rise up and march in our communities. We will unite together with a powerful voice to call for action on climate change, and demand that our society lives as if our future matters.
We will let the world know that climate change is not about money, it's not about power, it's not about convenience. It's about our future. It's about the survival of this and every generation to come.
The iMatter March is a series of more than 100 marches in states all across the US, and in over 25 countries worldwide, including Columbia, Gambia, Germany, Thailand India, on Mount Everest (!) and there's even one being planned by the son of an oil executive in Kuwait.
And Tom Beers, an attorney from Montana, supporting the iMatter legal actions agrees.“I am a father and a grandfather and am working with lawyers around the country and the world to hold our government to its job — protecting those resources that are essential for our youth and future generations .Our children deserve a livable world, like the one we have enjoyed. Alec inspires me to act on behalf of my own children and children everywhere.”
For other stories about all aspects of climate change check out Celsias