+
upworthy
Science

Op-Ed: We can no longer pass the buck on climate action

Society must be unwavering in pursuit of social and environmental justice.

Op-Ed: We can no longer pass the buck on climate action
Photo by Callum Shaw on Unsplash
women holding signs during daytime

Voices from every part of the world have been calling for action on climate change and the rapid loss of nature for decades, but too many in power have ignored this growing chorus. Even today, with the impacts of climate change starkly evident, many leaders contend that now is *not* the time to take measures to halt or reverse climate change. And despite mounting evidence pointing to the market growth potential of green technology adoption, concerns over the cost of saving the planet at the expense of sparing the global economy from short-term pain have become the preferred stalling tactic.



We have now arrived at the end of a very long line of “passing the buck” from generation to generation, and might well run out of time before enough gatekeepers in government and business are convinced to act. Concerned only with near-term growth, they could cause the loss of everything in the next decade, including the very ecosystems that they and everyone on earth depend upon for survival and well-being.

On September 23rd, young people all over the world participated in a strike to make that point. The largest generation of youth in history, we represent a massive wave of voters, workers, and consumers who see the direct link between climate action now and the world’s future stability. Our strike underscored the dwindling options available to avert calamity and promote justice for communities bearing the greatest climate change burden.

woman holding cardboard signagePhoto by Josh Barwick on Unsplash

Our strength comes from common experience. While our day-to-day lives look different depending on the places we live and languages we speak, we are unified by the grim likelihood of an unlivable future. That realization is based on two facts: climate is changing faster than anticipated, evident in the science and increased headlines of widespread wildfires and floods, scorching temperatures, agricultural failures, and vast injustices; and too many of our leaders continue the longstanding tradition of ignoring the threat.

We are not only striking, we are also acting. From Indigenous youth on the frontlines against destructive megaprojects like the US’s Line 3 pipeline and the Philippines’ Gened Dam, to child plaintiffs pursuing environmental justice in the courts – everywhere you look, youth are acting for systemic change. We won’t do it alone; we need those from every generation who understand the urgency of the climate crisis to join us to address its root causes in concrete ways. Here’s where to start:

Society must be unwavering in pursuit of social and environmental justice. Despite contributing the least to climate change, countries and communities across the global south suffer the most severe climate impacts. At the same time, violence against environmental defenders is disproportionately concentrated in this region, overwhelmingly directed at Indigenous Peoples. Every decision must be rooted in a respect for human rights.

We need a transformation of our economic systems. We are living through the dire results of adherence to an economic status quo that expects infinite growth from finite resources. We must actively resist the culture of extraction and acquisition, working to heal our relationship with nature, taking heed of the wisdom of Indigenous Peoples and their stewardship of the land.

We need innovative educational systems that nurture critical thinkers and incorporate traditional knowledge and Indigenous wisdom that support clean economies, setting people up for success in sustainable energy and agriculture. Education has the power to unlock solutions and reshape values, producing lasting change, steering us towards a sustainable, peaceful, equitable future.

Most of all, we need immediate action. This crisis is not happening in some blurry, distant future; it’s happening now, everywhere. We are experiencing the consequences of systems built on power and greed, and people are dying because those in power have decided money is worth more than human life.

The complexity and scale of today’s environmental crises are enough to leave even committed optimists frozen with fear, but the mass mobilization of youth is proving it doesn’t have to be this way. Our generation is carving an identity of perseverance, accountability, and determined resistance to unjust, unsustainable systems. We are bringing our collective voices to international policy processes through self-organized channels, calling for proactive steps toward meaningful youth participation.

people walking near white concrete buildingPhoto by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

This will feel immediately familiar to all who have acted for the environment in the past. Your generation will remember how many in power were quick to dismiss your calls for change. You may have experienced what we face now; in hostile spaces, we are silenced, criminalized, or intentionally misinterpreted to preserve the status quo. Elsewhere, our calls for justice are condescendingly referred to as ‘inspiring,’ but apparently not inspiring enough for those in power to act.

By joining our voices, we can’t be silenced. Our collective future depends on being heard and seen at this crucial moment for our planet.


Katharina Maier and Sefa Tauli are youth activists with Fridays for Future U.S. and the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN), respectively. Together, they’re writing on behalf of YOUNGO, the Children and Youth constituency to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; the Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change; and The Major Group of Children and Youth to UN Environment (UNEP-MGCY), which represents over a million young climate and nature advocates across six continents.

popular

10 anti-holiday recipes that prove the season can be tasty and healthy

Balance out heavy holiday eating with some lighter—but still delicious—fare.

Albertson's

Lighten your calorie load with some delicious, nutritious food between big holiday meals.

True

The holiday season has arrived with its cozy vibe, joyous celebrations and inevitable indulgences. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas cookie exchanges to Aunt Eva’s irresistible jelly donuts—not to mention leftover Halloween candy still lingering—fall and winter can feel like a non-stop gorge fest.

Total resistance is fairly futile—let’s be real—so it’s helpful to arm yourself with ways to mitigate the effects of eating-all-the-things around the holidays. Serving smaller amounts of rich, celebratory foods and focusing on slowly savoring the taste is one way. Another is to counteract those holiday calorie-bomb meals with some lighter fare in between.

Contrary to popular belief, eating “light” doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring or unsatisfying. And contrary to common practice, meals don’t have to fill an entire plate—especially when we’re trying to balance out heavy holiday eating.

It is possible to enjoy the bounties of the season while maintaining a healthy balance. Whether you prefer to eat low-carb or plant-based or gluten-free or everything under the sun, we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy, low-calorie meals from across the dietary spectrum.

Each of these recipes has less than 600 calories (most a lot less) per serving and can be made in less than 30 minutes. And Albertsons has made it easy to find O Organics® ingredients you can put right in your shopping cart to make prepping these meals even simpler.

Enjoy!

eggs and green veggies in a skillet, plate of baconNot quite green eggs and ham, but closeAlbertsons

Breakfast Skillet of Greens, Eggs & Ham

273 calories | 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach

2 eggs

1 clove garlic

4 slices prosciutto

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 medium zucchini squash

1/8 cup butter, unsalted

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bow of cauliflower ham saladGet your cauliflower power on.Albertsons

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Ham, Celery & Dill

345 calories | 20 minutes

1/2 medium head cauliflower

1 stick celery

1/4 small bunch fresh dill

8 oz. ham steak, boneless

1/2 shallot

1/4 tspblack pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/8 tsp paprika

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

tofu on skewers on a plate with coleslawPlant-based food fan? This combo looks yums. Albertsons

Grilled Chili Tofu Skewers with Ranch Cabbage, Apple & Cucumber Slaw

568 calories | 20 minutes

1 avocado

1/2 English cucumber

1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu

1 Granny Smith apple

3 Tbsp (45 ml) Ranch dressing

1/2 (14 oz bag) shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

frittata in a cast iron skilletSometimes you just gotta frittata.Albertsons

Bell Pepper, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata with Parmesan

513 calories | 25 minutes

6 eggs

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 oz Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper

1/2 medium red onion

8 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with slices of grilled chicken and a caprese saladCaprese, if you please.Albertsons

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Classic Caprese Salad

509 calories | 25 minutes

3/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

1/2 small pkg fresh basil

1/2 (8 oz pkg) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic

3 tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 3/4 pinches black pepper

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

four stuffed mushrooms on a plateThese mushrooms look positively poppable.Albertsons

Warm Goat Cheese, Parmesan & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

187 calories | 35 minutes

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1 1/4 pinches crushed red pepper

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with open English muffin with goat cheese and sliced baby tomatoes on topMove over, avocado toast. English muffin pizzas have arrived.Albertsons

English Muffin Pizzas with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

327 calories | 10 minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) basil pesto

2 English muffins

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

3/4 pinch black pepper

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

pita pocket on a plate filled with veggies, meat and cheeseThis pita pocket packs a colorful punch.Albertsons

Warm Pita Pocket with Turkey, Cheddar, Roasted Red Peppers & Parsley

313 calories | 20 minutes

1/4 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese

1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

4 oz oven roasted turkey breast, sliced

1/2 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers

1 whole grain pita

3/4 pinch black pepper

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mayonnaise

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with toast smeared with avocado and topped with prosciuttoDid we say, "Move over, avocado toast?" What we meant was "Throw some prosciutto on it!" Albertsons

Avocado Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

283 calories | 10 minutes

1 avocado

2 slices prosciutto

2 slices whole grain bread

1 5/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bowl of chili with cheese and green onions on topVegetarian chili with a fall twistAlbertsons

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

444 calories | 30 minutes

2 (15 oz can) black beans

1/2 (8 oz ) block cheddar cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 green bell peppers

1 small bunch green onions (scallions)

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

1 medium yellow onion

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 7/8 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, visit albertsons.com/recipes.

@brett.gaffney/TikTok

Brett Gaffney recalls how his grandma's Christmas gift nearly got him arrested at the airport.

Look, when grandma hands you a special mystery gift, and tells you not to open it until you get home, you do what grandma says. Consequences be damned.

That was certainly the case for Los Angeles-based actor Brett Gaffney. Only his obedience made for some awkward moments at airport security.

In a viral TikTok video, Gaffney is seen at the airport, a large briefcase nestled beside him, as he explains how his Grandma had accidentally been trying to get him “arrested” with her surprise gift. Turns out, this gift had more than one surprise to bestow.
Keep ReadingShow less
popular

Secret millionaire left behind millions to his tiny hometown

The humble groundskeeper asked that the money be used for education, health, recreation or culture.

Canva

Geoffrey Holt left behind $3.8 million dollars to his town after his death.

With a never ending flurry of headlines recounting sordid tales of the wealthy, out-of-touch elite, it’s refreshing to see a story of personal riches truly being used to benefit others.

Odds are you haven’t heard of Geoffrey Holt. Holt lived a modest, frugal life, working as a groundskeeper to a mobile home park, where he also resided, in the tiny town of Hinsdale, New Hampshire.

Holt lived so frugally that he was known to wear threadbare clothes, ride his lawnmower about town in lieu of a car, and be more than content to spend his time either working or tinkering with his model automobile collection.

No one ever suspected this unassuming man was secretly a millionaire.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Eltpics / Twitter

Mapping out the structure of the inner ear.

There are no two human beings who are exactly alike. One of the funny quirks of evolution is that some of us can do things with our bodies we think are routine, but are impossible for others.

Some people can wiggle their ears, others can't. Some can wiggle their nose like Samantha from "Bewitched" while others just look really silly when making an attempt.

Not everyone can lick their elbow but most wouldn't attempt to do so in public.

Keep ReadingShow less

Lilly and Evan share the joys of having 2 incomes and no kids.

The DINK phase of life is as carefree as can be. You’re with the love of your life. You have few responsibilities and that means more disposable income and time. So many people love the double income, no kids lifestyle that they are one of America's fastest-growing populations.

As of 2022, 43% of U.S. households were childless, a 12% increase over the past 10 years. Another study found that a majority of DINKs (51%) enjoy the lifestyle and say they have no plans for having any children.

This major change could be attributed to the attractiveness of having more money and time, but it also has a lot to do with the cost of raising children these days. A recent report from Lending Tree found that it now takes over $230,000 to raise a child over 18 years.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Comedian's song about life in the 90s has Gen X giggling with nostalgia

Ah, the good old days, when you had to choose between the phone or the internet.

Sammy J took us on a trip down memory lane.

Those of us who remember life before the internet love nothing more than to share "back in my day" stories with today's youngsters who've never had to try to get somewhere without GPS. When we tell our kids about dial-up internet, they look at us the same bewildered way we looked at our parents when they talked about party lines. So much fun.

Nothing splits the generations like what was considered advanced technology during our formative years, and one comedian has encapsulated that divide in an ode to the 1990s.

Sammy J sang "You'll Never Know What It's Like" at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and had the audience giggling along with recollections of life in the 90s. Driving around in the car with a big book of maps? Check. Making a collect call to tell your mom to pick you up but avoiding the collect call charges by telling her where you were instead of saying your name? Check. Agonizing over whether to take a photo because you only have 24 shots in your disposable camera? Check.

Younger generations will never know what it was like to live so primitively, it's true. But Gen X does, and this song is like taking a cold plunge into a pool of nostalgia.

Enjoy:

People loved the musical trip to the past.

"Thank you for taking me down memory lane! It was a blast 😀" wrote one commenter.

But some couldn't agree on whether young people have it better today or had it better in the 90s.

"All true! If only our teenagers knew who good they have it!" wrote one person.

"Life was so so good in the 90’s I feel lucky it didn’t have to grow up in this era 😕," shared another.

"God I miss the 90s!" wrote another. "Both my daughters always say they wish they grew up in the 90s bc it seemed so much fun and it was!!"

Kids today really will never know what those days were like, but that's okay. They'll be singing their own "back in my day" songs someday and marvel at how much has changed since they were young.

Pop Culture

Taylor Swift praises 'gem' of a friend Beyoncé in a powerful display of female friendship

Swift was named Time's 2023 Person of the Year and used it to lift up other women.

photo by J.ébey/Wikipedia, photo by Angela George/Wikipedia

Tyalor Swift was recently names TIME's Person of the Year

On December 6, 2023, Taylor Swift was named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year, not only for her achievements as an entertainer, but as a changemaker.

In an exclusive interview with TIME, Swift spoke on a range of topics, including overcoming challenges in her career, navigating being “raised up and down the flagpole of public opinion” and key relationships that made her who she is today—one being her friendship with Beyoncé.
Keep ReadingShow less