The pandemic slows down, but not defeat young ecologists


Jamie Margolin didn’t expect to be sitting in his room right now.

Is in the final year of high school and planned to graduate and celebrate their end of year party, but also much more: a campaign trip by bus through several states, with other climate activists. A tour presenting his new book. Attend one of the mass marches that had been planned for the 50 anniversary of Earth Day.

But the pandemic reached Seattle, where he lives, and his plans were dashed.

“But much remains to be done,” said Margolin, sitting at his computer to do an interview by video conference from his room.

As many young activists who have helped to solidify what has become a movement of global climate, Margolin will not let a virus stop it. They are organizing from their homes, from the united States to Ecuador, Uganda, India and many more places.

And while some fear that they have lost momentum with the pandemic, they are determined to keep pushing, and by now, to take advantage of the technology.

As you can’t be as they had anticipated, on this Earth Day, prepare talks and courses via the internet to keep the issue of climate in the international media and the u.s. presidential campaign.

One of the ceremonies called is Earth Day Live, organized by a coalition of groups climate as Zero Hour, that has to Margolin among their leaders. Like many other young activists, began to participate in the movement criticizing the fossil fuel industry long before the Swedish Greta Thunberg reached international fame.

Organised through the internet is not so easy in some countries. In Uganda, the activist Mulindwa Moses pointed out that only a third of the population have Wi-fi. The 23 year old student, who is also in quarantine, awaiting her opportunity to return to plant trees and speak in person with the youth of his country.

As the original founders of Earth Day, is one of those that started to engage driven by local issues, which ultimately were connected to global climate change.

During his travels in the east of Uganda, Moses met with families who had lost their homes in mudslides caused by torrential rains.

“I remember a conversation with a girl, had lost his parents and had to take care of his brothers. I suffered a lot,” he said.

So that last year launched a campaign urging citizens to plant “two trees a week,” and repopulate their forests to tackle deforestation and landslides aggravated by the change in weather patterns.

In Ecuador, Helena Gualinga, of 18 years, has also had to suspend their trips.

Gualinga was born in the indigenous community of sarayaku, who speaks quechua and includes some 1,200 people in the Amazon. She claims to have learned from the example of their parents and their ancestors to defend the rights of his people. Their struggle has been against a government that they believe has delivered his land with too much freedom to mining companies and oil companies.

Now, he noted, know that you have a voice.

Tia Nelson, daughter of the late senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, founder of Earth Day, said his father would appreciate the determination of this generation, just as it did with the young people that turned the first Earth Day a great success in 1970.

“The youth climate movement of today has a significant impact and important by doing exactly what I had dreamed of my father in the first Earth Day: get a rally big enough to get out of their lethargy to the established political class,” said Tia Nelson. “The youth movement of 50 years ago did that. The youth movement of today around climate change is doing the same.”

Nelson, director of climate at the Foundation Outrider, with headquarters in Washington, said he was especially excited by polls that showed that the young republicans were so concerned about climate change as the democrats.

Peter Nicholson, who helps run Foresight Prep, a summer program on environmental justice at Loyola University in Chicago, noted that the crisis of the coronavirus only underscores the idea that “we are all connected”.

“Climate change is no less real,” he said. “It’s just that the cycle is much longer.”