Being seen and heard Recent headlines have been filled with the #schoolstrike4climate movement, teenage voices demanding action from those in charge when it comes to taking meaningful action on climate change. But unlike youth movements of the past few years (most notably those centring around issues of gun control in the US), the noise and fury being heard from the streets is being underpinned by direct action in the US courts. The Juliana vs US legal case, although being stymied at every turn, is gaining traction among the country’s lawmakers and will eventually end up being decided on by a court of law (see our in-depth look on page 18). Should it go in favour of the plaintiffs, those in charge will have no choice but to start protecting tomorrow’s generations from the problems that their predecessors have inflicted upon them.
It’s this mixture of youthful passion combined with intelligently realised action using the systems that could actually bring about results that makes this feel like something more than just another limited time issue. Not least of which is that this isn’t solely a youth-related issue. Climate change affects everyone and steps to mitigate its effects can only benefit us all. It’s a shame that it’s those who are least responsible for bringing it about that seem to have the most passion for wanting to put things right. There’s an energy and vitality to this youth-centred movement that suggests it’s no mere flash in the pan. As a parent of a teenager, I’m only too aware of how obsessive a young mind can be when it gets its hooks into something, and it’s heartening to see schools, local politicians and other supposedly responsible adults supporting their actions instead of just writing them off as ‘meddling kids’. After all, they may be kids now, but in just a few years, they’ll be heading to the voting booths. At that point, those in charge will have no choice but to listen. Paul Presley Editor
‘A new youth-led civil rights movement seems to be landing,’ says Matt Maynard who met the young people standing up for their futures (page 18) ‘Demanding climate change action in the courts or on the streets might cut into school time, but surely scientifically informed, independently organised and peaceful protest is the welcome product of a well-rounded education?’
4 • Geographical
‘My fascination with enclaves and other geopolitical oddities can partly be due to the fact that as a Ukraine-born, Russia-educated and UK-based writer carrying British and Australian passports, I perceive myself as a “one-person enclave” of sorts,’ says Vitali Vitaliev who on page 26 looks at the parcels of land that belong to one country but sit within the boundaries of another.
‘Given the plight of African wild dogs across much of their (shrinking) range, it was really heartening to see the great work being done in South Luangwa,’ says photojournalist Daniel Allen of his journey to explore Zambia’s wildlife workers (page 45). ‘It just shows what can done at a grassroots level with dedication, a progressive conservation programme and the right funding.’
Geographical April 2019 Volume 91 Issue 04
Publisher Graeme Gourlay
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