Ricardo Tuma (Brazil, UWC AC 2011-2013)
As mankind steps into a new decade, we are forced to stop and think about where we find ourselves right now. We are facing a tipping point: as of 2008 our economical models have been shaken to their cores; political unrest and public demands are reaching parts of the world where people believed democracy just could not exist; science and technology have completely changed social interactions and perceptions, becoming essential to our relationships. But the real dilemma that awaits us in our gloomy future transcends our generation, and humanity as a whole: global warming.
All our scientific models agree: this is our last chance to slowly curb and then diminish CO2 emissions before it’s too late, and we have permanently wrecked our fragile atmosphere. So when a Gas Drilling company submits a demand to a Welsh public Council politely asking if they may drill for gas and oil in the Bristol Channel, all one can do is ask: ‘in what world do these people live in?’ Not only will drilling for more fossil fuels motivate the emission of even more green house gases, but the very act of undersea drilling (also known as fracking) consists of pumping toxic chemicals into the sea bed, completely destroying the local ecosystems, the drill’s vibrations affecting all of the surrounding areas, causing destruction to the environment and safety threat to the local citizens.
In the following council meeting in Cowbridge all the seats and aisles were filled with appalled locals demanding further information and stating quite clearly that they were completely against the Shale Gas Drilling. And last Sunday, a local group of activists and 20 or more students from AC, marched across Cowbridge’s tranquil roads, making clear that they wanted a different future for the Earth. No, the people do not want to sacrifice their natural patrimony in order to feed more profits to the fuel industry. No, the people do not want more toxic fumes pumped into their air and the sea. No, the people will not stand down while the technology needed to reverse global warming is ready and waiting to be used.
While we can only hope that the local government will have enough concern towards their people and their country to stop the fracking, what we can do is take our own measures to prevent global warming, do our part and make it clear to everybody that we deserve a better future.