By Dannalice Anza
Being a climate striker in Venezuela is very complex; many people question why they should support this campaign if our country is going through such difficult times, times in which living their day-to-day life has become a complicated task. The truth is that the world finds itself in a critical historical moment, and if we don’t act now, there won’t be a future. Our generation is called to transcend the day-to-day and to act now or to remain silent forever. It’s our generational challenge. A challenge that we are assuming from all corners of the world. There are no borders when it comes to defending the environment.
The dominant model of civilization is becoming less and less sustainable each day, and that is why we demand that the world’s leaders take action; that is why we demand that they confront global change. Right now, the decision lies in the hands of a few, but the real power resides in the organization of the people, in the essence of the people, and that is why we will continue with campaigns to awaken the conscience of society.
Although Venezuela does not have a huge impact on greenhouse gas emissions when compared to industrialized countries, global warming is something that affects us all, and climate change has neither limits nor borders. That is why all the countries of the world are affected. In 2016, the increased intensity of the El Niño phenomenon led to an extreme drought, which affected the national electricity system, the distribution of potable water, and agricultural activity.
In Venezuela, we have our own dynamics; we only take to the streets and organize climate strikes when the international agenda calls for massive strikes in all the cities of the world. However, environmental activism is consistent with activities to address internal environmental problems, and different types of activities are always being carried out: training, conservation programs, promoting sustainable development, etc. There are various organizations that fight for the environment with different objectives, but always with the common goal of preserving the life on this planet. This is the true fight, because the planet will continue being the Earth, with or without living beings.
I want to be part of a generation that has the strength and energy to drive the necessary transformations, a generation that promotes the process of transformation for the benefit of all expressions of life on Earth. We must defend the most defenseless; the planet Earth is not only the home of the human species, but also the home to many forms of life that we must respect. We are not alone in this home. One time, I read: “we are turning the Earth into a place uninhabitable to the noblest of its inhabitants”. I always remember that sentence, and with that in mind, I have decided to keep the struggle for the environment alive.
What gives me hope? Our planet is a very dynamic and complex system, with a great capacity for resilience. I believe that we are still in time to avoid the unleashing of the many other problems that would limit our living conditions to a much greater degree.
Follow Dannalice on Twitter at @dannaliceanza