It’s time we start actively engaging in our future

first_imgDear Editor,As I sit here and watch with dismay as the Amazon burns, and reflect on some of the other horrifying news of this time – Greenland lost 12.5 billion tons on ice in one day; Micro-plastics discovered in “extreme” concentrations in the North Atlantic; Nuclear monitoring stations went mysteriously quiet after Russian missile facility explosion, I wonder how did we get here, and where is the urgency of our response?There is little doubt that the news media have played a role in our diversion. No longer able to rely on annual subscriptions to fund their work, they resort to click bait headlines that bring in ad revenue. That’s why the international mass media spent more time in one week covering the royal baby than it did in all of 2018 on climate change and all the other millions of babies that died from starvation and diseases during this decade.But algorithms don’t lie; we’re taking in what they’re feeding us, and that is on us. So here we are, distracted by fashion trends, offers to shop online, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, videos and tweets. We were lulled into complacency while the Amazon was being clear cut, while the gulf between rich and poor widens by the day, and while the world slowly tilts towards tyranny and the annihilation being committed against innocent people in different parts of the world, the most recent being in Kashmir.We are facing a moment in time where we need a coordinated global effort to address a number of urgent issues, yet the superpower of South America seems no longer interested in, or capable of, playing a leadership role; and the United Nations without America’s active participation is impotent.But while governments around the world have ceded moral authority and leadership, it doesn’t mean we should give up hope. Ordinary citizens still have a voice, especially in the age of social media. Look no further than Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, Abby Martin, Rewan Al-Haddad, Avaaz and the kids from Parkland; all have demonstrated the tremendous power of the individual.In recent days, I have seen a chorus of voices speak out against the destructive policies that are partially responsible for the fires consuming the Amazon. These voices, if loud enough, would have an impact on policy makers. Politicians will react to outrage by their constituents. We need a similar chorus of voices to speak out against other dangers we are facing; including climate change, inequality, unnecessary wars, etc. Activists in all these areas need to harness the growing disillusionment within their communities, and organize targeted campaigns much like the International Crisis Group did with the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The bells rang loud enough to force policymakers to mobilize and help prevent an even greater crisis.It’s time we all start actively engaging in our future, as complacency comes at a cost none of us can afford. The ordinary indigenous Amazon Indians have raised their swords, bows and arrows, ready to defend the rain forest and their homeland with their last drop of blood.I petition: the world is in crisis; don’t be a passive onlooker, for the inferno that persists will consume the lives of millions of fauna in the Amazon and cause humongous destruction to our ecosystem and life on Planet Earth.Yours truly,Nazar Mohamedlast_img

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