Usra Qureshi, Student, Molecular and Cell Biology, Human Rights
I want to believe that everyone has the opportunity to participate in environmentally friendly practices, that every community knows enough about climate change to understand the urgency of the situation. And that sustainability is affordable for all.
The reality is morose. Liberals, academics and the upper class are communities privileged and enabled by the understanding of climate change, and all afforded access to sustainable measures meant to keep our world going.
COP22 in itself felt accessible to few. During a session on funding sustainable practices in Africa, one man went on an unforgettably impassioned monologue about how COP22 would not have been frequented by so many African voices had it not been taking place in Africa. The Innovation Zone was found to be populated by incredible inventions and visions that would undoubtedly change lives – so long as you came from a lineage of royalty.
Certainly, the world becomes more aware by the day about the impacts of climate change. But we keep educating those who are already educated. This is a problem. Continuously, there is a failure to frame the subject in a way that is understandable to the average person. Climate change is incomprehensible. Sustainability is inaccessible. Change is unaffordable.
So before we expect them to understand and join the revolution, we ourselves need to fix the way we enable. It is a privilege to be able to understand climate change. It is time we make it a right.