Recently I told my daughter about Greta Thunberg, showed her her speeches, talked to her about climate change and that she will have to deal with the consequences of our decisions and omissions later on. That’s why I want her to know what’s going on and to form her own opinion. She should not become a good sheep following the herd, she should be able to think and act independently. She will soon turn 13. It is time for the global view. So I told her about the national climate strike on the 15th of March and asked her if she also wanted to go there. She doesn’t want to skip school – okay, I’ll take that argument. That’s why I suggested to her that she ask the teacher if the whole class could take part. She immediately initiated the clarification, thanks to Whatsapp. She is quite worried about her safety at her first demo. That’s why I reserved the afternoon in the calendar so that I can bear the consequences of my agitation and go along as a companion. Why do I do this?
“There is no planet B.” E. Macron
I read that the over 60-year-olds win the Swiss vote 29:1 against the boys and that the children of National Councillor Ruedi Noser have reminded their father of his responsibility. I listen shudderingly to the 16-year-old Greta and terribly shudderingly to the almost 73-year-old Trump and know who currently has more political power. I read how party president Petra Gössi is criticized for her clear statement on climate policy and how her merely base electoral calculation is imputed, and then how Prof. Ernst Fehr puts himself behind her and declares a CO2 tax to be a sensible thing to do. Yes, I want us to look at the long-term consequences of our actions and non-actions across all generations and party books and to set the course responsibly to the best of our knowledge and belief. What world do we want our children to grow into? What do we have to do and what don’t we have to do today so that the global structure – ecological, social and economic – functions sustainably and worth living? To quote President Emmanuel Macron to the US Congress: “There is no planet B.” That sums it up. Human, take off your mental yellow vests and pack up. Column by Esther-Mirjam de Boer, published in the Handelszeitung on 28 February 2019.