If we are to survive, we must follow the demands and examples of the next generation
World leaders are meeting in Spain to decide whether or not to bother with preventing the destruction of the earth, like people in a vehicle speeding toward a cliff deciding whether to brake or swerve or just chat about other things. Powerful senior citizens in the United States – Trump, Giuliani, Biden – are trading playground insults, and the middle-aged people who make a lot of decisions about how to handle this emergency seem incapable of thinking beyond the singularly imagination-killing criterion of short-term profit.
I began writing this column at a Youth v Apocalypse demonstration in San Francisco. The protest, which was led by teens, of course, as well as some of the 20-something members of the Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion, took place in front of Black Rock, the world’s largest investor in fossil fuels. There was a little cluster of mothers at the demonstration too, with babies and toddlers whose life expectancy, barring catastrophes, extends into the 22nd century. It was a Fridays for Future demonstration taking place all over the world, with half a million mostly young people in Madrid.
We must expand our imaginations so can experience real climate victory. That means making radical changes
Rebecca Solnit is a Guardian US columnist