Marian Jones (11 years, www.kidsforclimate.org) was invited to give one of the three (female) opening speeches at the 2019 European Heat Pump Forum in Brussels. Three generations of women provided a stark reminder about the urgency of the transition towards a climate-friendly economy. The 150 people rich audience, mostly male engineers, got the message. Well done to Prof. Lieve Helsen (KU Leuven), PhD student Anke Uytterhoeven (KU Leuven) and Kids for Climate representative Marian Jones (Freinetschool de Zevensprong) for the inspiring speeches! (Leuven, 16-5-2019)
PDF VERSION Speech Speech Marian Jones (11)
Youtube video speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=figQpvyStcI
People have been saying for ages that they are civilized. That they are the smartest creatures in the world. Still, we are the only creatures who are destroying this planet.
People also say they are civilized because they have democracy. But, if people are so smart and civilized, how can they forget about their own children?
Our grandparents, our parents: they are responsible for the mess on this planet. (Not my parents, of course, they are great!) Now there are problems with the oceans, with the air, with biodiversity, with the climate.
Our future is uncertain. Children will face more problems with health, food and the weather. There will be more conflicts all over the world because of climate change.
Now we live in a world where the strong people think the planet is theirs and theirs only. Well, I do not agree. The planet belongs to every living creature.
To the tiniest little creatures and plants and the massive ones.
And yes, it also belongs to people: to the rich and the poor.
To people of all cultures, to men and women.
To people who lived here in the past, to people who live here now and to people who will live here in the future.
If the planet would belong to anyone, it would belong to us: it would belong to children everywhere in the world! But we are not that greedy! We want to do better. We started the Kids for Climate movement because we want to save this wonderful planet. For the children of today, for those of the future and for every living creature. Because we… care!
It’s scary to see how adults just… don’t… understand that climate change and loss of biodiversity is bloody serious. It’s not funny to smile and say that one, two or three degrees of warming is actually nice in a cold country like Belgium. This is about life or death for many creatures, it is about life and death for many people.
For us, the children, it is very simple.
We know the problem, we know a lot of the solutions. So we… have… to… fix… it. NOW!! Adults should stop looking for excuses!
I like people like Professor Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele because he’s a brilliant climate scientist. And he has been telling the world and its wife that it is time to act!
But Van Ypersele is not an engineer like my dad or like you. He doesn’t make heat pumps, does he?
We also need people like you, who spend their lifetime finding solutions in the real life. We will need clean technologies. Lots of clean technologies. But … technology alone will not save us. People also have to change their mindset. We’ll have to eat differently. That means, people, we will have to eat less meat. Oh… yes! A lot less meat.
We’ll have to travel differently, live in smart cities like Leuven, save green areas, manage rain water, and so on and so on. We don’t have to make small changes here and there. We need a real transition! We need to be smart. We need to be smart and civilised… The clock is ticking.