Dear all school kids going on 'strike' for climate change:
Although South Asia has the highest population but you should know that you (western people and especially teenagers) are the largest consumer of meat product resulting 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (37% of human-caused methane emissions, and about 65% of human nitrous oxide emissions). Junk food and fast foods are part of your life. As you might know that you are the first generation who has required air-conditioning in every classroom. You want TV in every room and all your classrooms and living rooms are computerized. You spend all day and night on electronic devices. More than ever, you don’t walk or ride bi-cycles to go school but arrive in busses, or in caravans and private cars. You are the biggest consumers of manufactured goods ever and update perfectly good expensive luxury items to stay trendy. Your entertainment comes from electric devices. Your games and sports are virtual. You know very less about outdoor games, recreation like hiking, rafting, jungle safari, canoeing etc. All these your way of comfort and luxury life contributes almost 64% of greenhouse gas emissions which is very high compared to anything else hampering the environment directly or indirectly.
Major problem is with your education system which taught you to become ambitious, earn certificate, taught you to become self centered, robotic and completely materialized you. You never learned about soul, nature, consciousness, morality, spirituality etc. Eating, sleeping in comfort, uncontrolled sex and defending self are only aim of life for you. Today's educational system taught you nothing more than this. There is no any higher principle, no any higher cause to live for than these four animalistic ways of life. Actually you know nothing about the cause you were in strike for because even for the strike you came in cars, were busy with your electronic devices during protest and were consuming packaged junk food.
Furthermore the people and corporations driving and funding your protests are the people who insist on artificially and genetically modifying the foods, produce and markets arms and artilleries, promote meat and junk food industry and the fossil fuel industry who wants the public to discuss issues like plastic straws, lightbulbs, and cheeseburgers so they can continue to get away with producing most of the emissions blamed for climate change.
I know you kids after hearing a girl about climate change got angry and sentimental as a immediate reaction. Lots of people are angry and are sad. But anger without doing something other than protesting and making speeches won’t protect the environment or do much else other than produce more anger and sadism resulting frustration and depression.
Instead why not to try this?
Tell your teachers and parents to switch off AC, Walk or ride cycle to school. Switch off your devices and read books. Instead of going deep in virtual world go deep in self discovery. Learn the truth that way of entertainment and recreation can be found in nature. Make pie, rice, bread and sandwich instead of buying manufactured fast foods. I am not trying to teach what and how to eat but it would indeed be beneficial, for both climate and human health, if you start consuming plant based food. As we know eating habits really can bring real peace and happiness in the world. Plant trees instead of doing protest As in Vedic system Vedic Scripture ask us to plant at least two trees in lifetime, one for living and one for leaving. Boycott the die-hard capitalists and materialistic curriculum. Ask teachers and parents to teach values not price. Go for village life. Focus on agriculture and spiritually influenced life. Go for Simple living and high thinking.
But No, None of this will happen because you are selfish, badly educated, self centered so called matchless lads inspired by the adult around you who carve a feeling of having a noble cause while they indulge themselves in western luxury and unprecedented supremacy of life. Wake up, grow up and learn to research fact and think for all and not blindly accept the words and thoughts of some conditioned egocentric individual entity with concealed political and corporate interest.
Think for South Asian Kids who have very less (almost none) material obsession and luxury like you. Who are not indulged in luxury and unprecedented facility on their life but are being affected equally like you because of climate change. They have very less contribution in climate change but are being affected much because they don’t have air filtration in their school and homes, they don’t have enough hospitals and qualified medic manpower to treat them on time if they got any illness due to adverse environmental condition. So don’t be self centric. Don’t be blind. Look around. Think and act wisely. It's not only your problem. It's ours problem. This is problem created by ourselves for all of us. We should fight together.
Sripad Srivas Krishna Das Brahmacari is the Founding Chairman/Kulapati, Jagannath Foundation, Sri Rupanuga Para Vidyapeeth.