Jun 13, 2011
On 11th June 2011, 3 months after the tsunami in Japan, the Fukushima power plant hasn’t been fixed and there is still 90,000 people living in temporary shelters. Marco Cadena from Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, blogs from the UN climate talks in Bonn.
Organisations around the world joined the day of action, and there were thousands of people on the streets of Tokyo and many more solidarity actions around the world.
Participants at Young Friends of the Earth Europe climate justice seminar also took action in Bonn during the UN climate talks. The seminar’s aim is to inform and inspire youth around Europe about the issues surrounding the efforts to tackle climate change.
Part of the issues in the big web of problems is false solutions. Many proposals are out there that are trying to solve the climate crisis but for different reasons many of them have not proven, and in some cases there is the possibility that they would cause more damage than help.
One of the false solutions is nuclear energy
Rich countries are using the argument that if we need to switch to non-emitting energy sources, nuclear is the only way to keep providing the electricity needed for our societies. However, events like the recent disaster in Japan show how vulnerable and fragile is the security of nuclear energy.
Even without earthquakes, nuclear waste has incredibly long decay time, meaning that it will be very difficult for future societies to deal with nuclear waste. We just simply don’t know how much trouble we cause in a long run.
There are good solutions that sometimes get ignored by the nuclear and oil lobby. Renewable energy, such as wind and solar power are clean, harmless and infinite source of energy that could solve the current crisis if we act quickly.
However, rich countries are already consuming way too much energy and natural resources with excessive and irresponsible lifestyle. Developed countries need to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, their natural resource consumption, and their energy consumption.
Instead of emphasising on promoting business as usual, it is time for people, the private sector and governments to realise that we need a great change in a way we live and the way we treat our planet.
We have only one planet we share amongst all living things, and we cannot gamble with false solutions that could threaten our entire survival.
The solidarity action on 11th June by participants on the YFOE climate justice seminar sends the message to governments that young people demand true solutions to the climate crisis.
Investing in nuclear is essentially a gamble with the future and with the lives of young people, who are representing the next generation. They are the most vulnerable, as they will have to deal with the problems what nuclear power will cause in few decades.
YFOEE also took action in December, during the COP16 Climate Talks in Cancun.
New era of energy use
We do have the technology and knowledge to leave behind the old fossil and nuclear age and shift it into a renewable age, where people live in harmony with nature and each other.
There is a long and difficult way to get there, as governments and companies are not necessarily willing to share these technologies with vulnerable countries.
Therefore, youth around the world need to be actively involved in all these debates, and information and knowledge sharing is essential for their empowerment. In fact, it’s the first step on the way of forming active networks, where people connect and self organise in order to take active role in shaping our and the planet’s future.