While the world is still figuring out how to implement the Paris Agreement, kids are becoming increasingly well informed about climate change – and are demanding action.
Take six-year-old Henry Marr from the United States for example, who recently gained world fame when his climate tantrum went viral on Facebook.
Kai from Canada, a few years older at the ripe old age of nine, favours a different approach. He took on his mum Jasmine in an interview setting, filmed in Toronto as part of a new Ryerson University arts project.
Kai opens the interview by asking “Do you think adults would want to change things, but just don’t?”
“It’s not that I don’t care,” his mother Jasmine replies, “I don’t know where to start.”
Kai simply replies: “You’re misinformed.”
He points out that unlike older generations, kids learn about climate change in school, “When you’re a kid and you learn about this it sticks into your brain. Climate change is bad and we have to do something,” Kai says.
“If adults didn’t learn about it, maybe they just don’t know too much about it,” he wonders.
Climate Change – ‘Whatever’
When his mum confirms she doesn’t know much about climate change, Kai asks: “What do you think you don’t understand.”
“I don’t think I understand anything about climate change,” she replies. Jasmine says she feels “lost”. Climate change is something she hears about as “a name, as an issue,” but otherwise doesn’t really engage with.
Kai for his part, says he feels really sad not more is done about it. “‘Climate change, climate change – it’s happening,'” he quotes adults mockingly, before adding “And then they’re just like – ‘whatever‘.”
Some animals might become extinct as a result of climate change, Kai knows, warning “we might become extinct too and it might be the end of this world.”
But Kai says there are things that can be done at home to become part of the solution. “We have to drive a lot less, maybe we could bike to school?” he wonders, and he thinks they should turn on the air conditioning less often at home.
Jasmine says she thinks kids have a crucial role to play. “It’s hope and a believe that this can be done,” she says, “I think all too often adults can become too cynical and complacent.”
“We need that hope and inspiration from children, Adults have access to things children don’t have access to, so if you put those two together, I think you have a winning combination,” she tells her son.
Kai is looking forward to being “activists together, fighting for what’s right.”
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