Greta Thunberg, Victor Noël, Charlie… figures who have emerged on the public sphere to defend the future of our planet. Each of them is acting on his own scale. Their inspiring initiatives have led to demonstrations around the world. With a rather unprecedented dimension this time: the youth of the protagonists.
They demonstrate that maturity is not a question of age but of responsibility. The latter is becoming more and more important in the face of the climate emergency. The collective awareness of the importance of taking concrete action for the planet is on the way. But to speed up the process, why not raise awareness on environmental issues?
Regardless of age, the environment is a cause that concerns us all and about which we must be informed. Do schools, places of learning par excellence, provide enough information on the subject? Should ecology have a full place in the timetable of schoolchildren?
The ecological revolt initiated by the youth
Greta Thunberg, who initiated Friday For Future and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Inviting all schoolchildren to take to the streets on Fridays to demand concrete action from institutions with one voice. By making this worldwide appeal, the 16 year old Swedish girl, has been criticized. The usual reactions about the opportunism of the schoolchildren who would take advantage of the opportunity to not go to school. Then the movement grew to the point that the young Swedish girl can now speak at events such as the European Parliament on April 16 in Strasbourg and look the decision makers in the eye.
“Why learn if the future is so compromised? “Greta Thunberg
France, we also have inspiring actors.
Victor Noël made the buzz in Metz by gathering more than 1500 people and 79 associations on March 9th for a march for biodiversity. At just 14 years old, Victor is already fully aware of the issues that await him, as evidenced by his striking words “I can’t imagine the future”. Charlie has been more widely publicized for having questioned French President Emmanuel Macron during a trip to the PACA region for the Great Debate:
“Since it is money that has led us to neglect ecology, do you think we will be able to buy a new planet with money?” – Charlie, a middle school student questioning Emmanuel Macron
A question that provoked the astonishment of the audience and that confronts two dimensions. The first, money, profit, short-term vision and the prioritization of individual interests. The second, a longer term vision, the qualitative rather than the quantitative and the collective interest in the foreground. This opposition is more complex than it seems. All the more so as the time scale has become shorter as regards the possibility of acting for the environment… Also, it is crucial to raise awareness among young people from the earliest age. This is why teachers have a key role to play.
What better place than the school to understand that we must, from now on, adopt solutions to preserve the planet?
“We teach because the future must not be compromised in any way. We educators are responsible for your intellectual and social future. Our responsibility and ethics dictate that we demand guarantees for your future and prepare you to take over the work we begin today.”Ange Ansour, Director of the Savanturiers-School of Research and member of EPLP
A vision that meets a growing expectation for more and more students. They need to be informed on a subject that concerns them more than ever. The eternal “You’ll see when you’re older” has never sounded so false. The need to act, from now on, for the planet is urgent. So how can we get children to have constructive discussions with their parents?
The answer may lie in moving away, at least partially, from the “innocent” questions usually asked by children to adults when they want to discuss so-called “serious” subjects. Future of the planet is undoubtedly one of the most important subjects to discuss between parents and children. The construction of a relevant argument among young people also helps to avoid the “I didn’t know” phenomenon. To carry out an action, the first step is information and full control of the subject.
School and ecology, a complicated marriage but so obvious
Although the integration of a full-fledged course on the environment still seems complex. Why not approach ecology from a variety of angles offered by the different subjects taught?
Children have the power to confront adults with a fait accompli. On the one hand, the feeling of guilt for not having done enough to preserve the planet. On the other hand, the concern about the world that future generations will inherit. Adults have the power to act, starting today, on a larger scale. The saying “the truth comes out of the mouths of babes” has a whole new resonance today. Even more insistent questions about the responsibility of the older generations on the environmental situation of today? And maybe children will be a source of questioning our behavior.