Our world’s inability to make meaningful progress on the climate crisis is not because of a lack of scientific evidence that the problem exists or even a lack of viable solutions. The crisis is a problem of will:
- Will to create the vision of where we need to go.
- Will to make bold choices to achieve that vision.
- Will to put the needs of endless future generations ahead of the wants of one’s own.
Adults doing science today are critical to our ability to survive the existential threat of climate change, but they are not nearly enough. We also need influencers, persuaders, leaders, even whiners, to create demand for change among all people: conservatives and liberals; dancers and accountants; the religious and atheists; and the hair stylist and the factory worker. We need ALL people, not just scientists and activists, demanding of those in power, “Enough! There is nothing more important than this.”
Those influencers and persuaders can be us.
Who is more expert on the futures we hope to live?
Who can give voice to our fears more genuinely than us?
Who understands better our frustrations with adults who would literally jump in front of a car to save a child but won’t act while our entire generation is on a bus broken down on the railroad tracks with the climate train bearing down on us?
Who better to articulate the meaningfulness of the green jobs we hope to make our life’s work and the economic benefits we expect to see for our families with a green economy?
Who better than us?
Jack McDonald (age 17)
Jack McDonald is a student at the Greenhill School where he is President of the Senior Class and a member of the Varsity Debate Team. Jack plans to study public policy and the environment when he goes to college next year.