It is the year 2070, and I have to explain to young people what ‘a tree’ is. I have to tell them that the Amazon desert used to be full of them, but they have been burnt down. That our land is one of the reasons why we can no longer breathe.
Tell me: how do I explain this?
Trees: they clean the air, they give us oxygen, they produce food. Yet people act as if they are unimportant, negligible, and why?
Money, money, money…
I always try to imagine how I will have to explain to my imaginary children why the world no longer looks like the pictures in their history book. Am I the only one? Do the CEOs of the companies responsible for deforestation not think about the future?
But then, if you have made money today, who cares about tomorrow?
The super-rich climate deniers put on their fossil-fuel-scented perfume in the morning and step outside with their ecologically heavy foot, shoe size 100, ready to trample everything and everyone for money. They forget one thing: nature does not care about financial status. Ruining the climate? Then you are ruining humanity. And how much is money worth when you are dead?
I realise that the aggression behind these words seems enormous, but can you blame me? The problem of deforestation started in the 1980s. Forty years have passed, and the so-called ‘thinking man’ still does not think. Of course I am frustrated.
I can do no more than write down words, avoid meat and buy a reusable drinking bottle. Because although these things are very important, the big responsibility lies with the government and companies. I know that a ‘please, pretty please…’ won’t do much, but what will?
So, please, pretty please?
RESEARCH | ARTICLE © Martha Van den Eede, Thabo Xulu, Ezra Cnaepkens, AP University College Antwerp, Belgium
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