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Greta and Malala Together

By: Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos - CDN Digital Opinion | February 27,2020 - 07:50 AM

Activists do need inspiring moments – considering the dire situation we are facing.

Politicians refusing to look at the climate crisis seriously and continuing the business-as-usual habit is a downer. 

Reclamation projects, which are aptly described as anything but sustainable dump-and-fill programs, continue to attract the attention of government agencies and private sector together.

The lack of a sense of urgency to fight illegal fishing is alarming and appalling despite myriad of studies revealing overfishing happening – and, going into fish importation is definitely a short-term band aid approach that will heavily add to the financial woes of our fisherfolk.

The plastics pollution crisis is largely ignored, despite overwhelming evidence of its harm and danger to people, our oceans and planet. 

All these continue despite the warnings of scientists all over the world that we have a limited time to overturn the tide of self-destruction that we are putting our natural life support systems into. And, we say we do care for our children and their future?

Seeing a picture together and posting of Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai yesterday to each other certainly made my day. I know millions feel the same way.

Malala grew up in Pakistan and was twelve years old when she was shot in the head by the Taliban for coming to school and claiming her basic right to education. She survived, with her family now living in London, but remains the shining light for girls to have access to education through her advocacy. She was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. 

In her speech accepting the award, she called for political will and action to make education a priority, “It is not time to tell the world leaders to realise how important education is – they already know it – their own children are in good schools. Now it is time to call them to take action for the rest of the world’s children. We ask the world leaders to unite and make education their top priority.”

Greta Thunberg is only 17 but started a solo school strike for the climate when she was 15. This protest action has evolved to become the Fridays for Future climate strike, a worldwide movement calling for urgent action to fight climate change through science-based solutions.

Like Malala, Greta’s focus is directed likewise to political leaders to walk the talk and  protect the future of the children by ending the fossil fuel “madness.” In Davos, she declared that “Today’s business as usual is turning into a crime against humanity. We demand that leaders play their part in putting an end to this madness.”

There are many Gretas and Malalas in our midst, in Cebu and in our country. And, we, the senior advocates but forever young in spirit, are inspired to see them in action as inspired as we were when we took the first single step to use our voice to stop the recklessness in destroying our home planet.

The madness must stop – Now.

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