The Greta Thunberg Generation
On a sunny afternoon in late summer, Roger Pallás, a 22-year-old Catalan student with blond hair and a wiry build, sits behind the wheel of his van on his way to the Costa Brava while he sings: “The people gonna rise like the waters, we’re gonna face this crisis now…” He has been trying to promote this song at the climate change protests in the city of Girona, but though he has sent it out to plenty of contacts via WhatsApp, he says people struggle with the lyrics.
Somewhere along the way, he stops to pick up his classmate and fellow climate-change warrior Lucas Barrero, another 22-year-old who hails from Andalusia. As they head for the sea, Barrero talks about the book he has just published, El mundo que nos dejáis (or, The World You Are Leaving Us) which he says is more like a manifesto aimed at “creating a bit of awareness.”
One line in the book reads: “We are the first generation that will suffer, or rather, is already suffering the effects of the ecological and climate crisis. But we are the last generation that can do something to stop the disaster.”
As the van cuts through the pine trees to reveal an expanse of sea ahead, the conversation turns to veganism. Roger, who was born in a region of industrial pig farming, eats no animal products. The talk moves on to the Climate Change Law, which Lucas declares was a non-starter. And then they start to discuss the Belgian environment minister, who was forced to resign at the start of the year after suggesting that the student climate change protests that have taken the world by storm are being directed by unnamed powers instead of being a spontaneous movement.
Barrero points out that the protests started by the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg a year ago may be led by young people and children, but for every youngster there are potentially two parents and four grandparents. So for every million students, there could be six million adults behind them. And this means that while it may be a children’s movement, its influence is massive.
It’s what they are discussing when Roger turns onto a track and stops in front of a diving school at the beach of Sant Pere Pescador. This is the workplace of Ander Congil, a 22-year-old from the Basque Country and the third member of the trio that is responsible for importing Thunberg’s movement to Spain. Emerging from a rack of wetsuits with a broad smile, he throws his arms around his friends.Bound by a love of nature, the three young men met while studying for a combined Environmental Science and Biology degree at the University of Girona. Since then they have shared apartments, hiked and traveled together. All three were blown away by the arguments that Thunberg laid before world leaders in Katowice, Poland, during the UN conference on Climate Change at the end of 2018. “Your excuses have run out,” she told them. “And for us, time is running out.”…Read more…
Source: insert source here: El Pais