In our modern times, 10,000 to 100,000 species go extinct every year on Earth. At one point in time, forests comprised 14 percent of the Earth’s surface, whereas they only cover six percent today. Water resources are continuously being polluted by wastewater, oil, radioactive substances and agriculture, and as such they negatively influence our health and the ecosystem.
In August 2018 Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old girl from Sweden, started to boycott her classes as a form of protest, since she was conscious of the looming environmental consequences. For Greta, this form of protest was the most effective way to achieve change. She started to go outside in front of the Swedish parliament, every day for two weeks straight. This was the beginning of the global movement, #FridaysForFuture.
Every Friday protests are organized, the participants of which are usually children who are asking the question, “Why study for a future that might not exist?”
Greta, along with other young activists around the world, is concerned about the lack of initiatives addressing climate and environmental change. These changes are caused by the misuse of natural resources for the sake of the economy and the luxury of a global minority.
These natural disorders are influenced by our daily activities, making us — humans — the dominant cause of climate change and global warming.
In other circumstances, these alarming facts would result in the declaration of a global crisis, but in our reality, this has not happened. However, thousands of children and adults from around the world have begun to support Greta in her initiative, because we are completely aware that this is our concern and that we are all equally responsible as inhabitants of planet Earth — even if this means that we have to change the system.
In Kosovo, there are many causes of air and environmental pollution, with the main cause often being unknown. Cars, power plants, coal and waste are just some of the different factors contributing to polluting the environment we live in. Different analyses have asked the question, “What choice other than going green?” and have shown that the level of pollution in Prishtina is often alarming and severely detrimental to our health.
For the past two Fridays, the Termokiss community in Prishtina has organized #FridaysForFuture, which will continue the upcoming Fridays. These events are open to anyone concerned about climate change and environmental protection. At today’s gathering, besides having a picnic on the asphalt in front of the government, a discussion about this worldwide initiative in the context of Kosovo took place, in order to better understand what concrete steps can be taken in the future.
If you are reading this article and want to take action, we suggest the following:
If you are a student, you can reflect on the solutions and concrete steps that we can all take together and you can join #FridaysForFuture; you can talk to your parents about how they can support you, explaining the reasons behind your beliefs; you can talk to your teacher and other students, explaining why it is important to protect the environment, climate and our planet.
If you are a parent, you can talk to your children and explain the importance of protecting the environment; you can inform them about this global movement; you can talk to school teachers and explain that you support your children’s’ decision to join the movement, so that they can protect our future; you can talk to other parents and neighbors and you can help children prepare for #FridaysForFuture.
If you are a teacher or a member of school staff, you can talk to your students and provide more information on this movement and its importance; you can talk to the school administration and other teachers to tell them that you support the cause, and you can join #FridaysForFuture yourself.
We have to discuss, research and begin to take concrete steps for our future. This environmental crisis is an issue of concern that goes beyond all borders. It is something that affects every species that lives on Earth, and it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to try to change this situation in whichever way we can.
Feature image: Fikret Ahmeti / K2.0.