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'I matter!' - Kids against Climate Change.

By Michael Kile - posted Friday, 30 December 2011

Every generation needs a revolution. The time for our revolution has come. It is a revolution that will push beyond the politics and debate about climate change and express the truth that’s been hidden for so long: climate change is about us. We are the generation being called to stop global warming in our lifetime. We don’t have a choice. The Earth is calling us. Alec Loorz, 16, El Camino High School junior, Ventura, California. 2010 Bioneers Conference

Two days before Christmas and another sleepless night. Not something I ate after all, just a touch of post-Durban-conference-fatigue-syndrome. Five am and ambushed by yet another “revolution from the heart of Nature” on ABC Radio National (Listen now). Not The Goon Show, but perplexing in the same mad kind of way. But could I stomach another revolution before breakfast?

Future generations, apparently, are screaming at us. But the only screaming (or screeching) I could hear besides some magpies and a galah, was from an inner voice urging me to flick the switch on our national broadcaster’s early morning offering – an “on demand” replay of the Clean Energy Climate Challenge from last year’s US Bioneers Conference.


Bioneer: A neologism (root: “biological pioneer”) describing individuals and groups who strive to develop solutions to various environmental and socio-cultural issues from the perspective of “whole systems thinking”, a view that all life is interdependent.

Before I could do so, however, on came a young evangelist: 16 year-old Alec Loorz, a junior student from the El Camino High School in Ventura, California. He had, he said, spent his “entire teenage life urging people to take action on climate change”. His generation had “an inherent sense of calling” about it.

Blogger Penny: “This is the kind of energy the world needs to turn this Titanic around before the Earth hits the tipping point into climate chaos. Thank you so much, Alex, and keep up your amazing work!”

According to the Bioneers, Alec’s I MATTER! campaign is “mobilising young people worldwide for the defining issue of their lives” – to reduce “our addiction to fossil fuels” and  “stop global warming in our lifetimes.” Clearly a committed chap, his Declaration of Independence from Fossil Fuels (350,000 signatures) was presented to the US Congress in October 2010.

 The time has come for us to take matters into our own hands. I am going to join with youth around the world to take legal action and bring our case to the courts (applause). We will demand that our government commits to the requirements Dr James Hansen prescribes and begin to govern as if the future matters. This is our revolution and we are going to make it happen.

Let me ask you: who is ready, who is ready to stand up, unite together across generations and start a revolution that is so loud, provocative and so unquestioning that we will be impossible to ignore. Let’s make it happen! (sustained applause)

Two climate fundamentalists more than ready to unite together across generations were Alec’s mentors, Al Gore and James Hansen, NASA’s chief climatologist. Inspired by Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, Alec founded an “inconvenient youth” activist group, Kids vs Global Warming, when only 12 years old. Feeling “the weight of the global situation and a sense that he could make a difference,” he – like them - was compelled as to preach the gospel of global warming.


Inhis 1992 book, Earth in the Balance, Gore described how his eco-evangelism arose out of an “unshakeable belief in God as creator and sustainer” and the “revelatory power in the world”.

Many prophecies used, he wrote, “images of environmental destruction to warn of transgressions against God’s will. For those who believe in the literal truth of the Bible, it is hard to read about the predictions of hurricanes 50 percent stronger than the worst ones today, due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases that we have fostered, without recalling the prophecy of Hosea: “They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”… Many believers and non-believers shared a “deep uneasiness about the future, sensing that our civilisation may be running out of time.”

What could be done to save the planet? Humankind has to reconnect with religion; discover a new faith in the future; and develop ‘environmentalism of the spirit’.  Only then would it be possible “to re-sanctify the Earth, identify it as God’s creation, and accept our responsibility to protect it.”

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About the Author

Michael Kile is author of No Room at Nature's Mighty Feast: Reflections on the Growth of Humankind. He has an MSc degree from Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London and a Diploma from the College. He also has a BSc (Hons) degree in geology and geophysics from the University of Tasmania and a BA from the University of Western Australia. He is co-author of a recent paper on ancient Mesoamerica, Re-interpreting Codex Cihuacoatl: New Evidence for Climate Change Mitigation by Human Sacrifice, and author of The Aztec solution to climate change.

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