”The only way to keep the earth alive, is to keep our hands off it”

”The only way to keep the earth alive, is to keep our hands off it”

An activist from a political party with a banner saying: 'Grandpa and grandma eat vegan!' and 'Grandparents for the climate!'

From 6 to 29 October, hundreds of climate activists are walking The Climate Miles from Groningen to Glasgow, where the 26th United Nations Climate Conference will be held. Their goal is to draw attention to the reduction of global warming. But let’s be honest, how does walking together contribute to this?

All kinds of climate protests, movements and demands for attention for the climate agreement. But what do these movements really contribute to the reduction of global warming? 

The answers and reactions to this question of the climate activists who participated in the Climate Miles were far apart.

Mr. Mommers, participating on behalf of ‘Grandparents for the Climate’, talks about his feelings of guilt towards the younger generation: ”I wish we had done more for you younger people in the past, so that the world wouldn’t be such a mess now. How my participation contributes to this is not concrete, I think I am just walking away my guilt.”

Unlike another climate activist who participated in the Climate Miles, he felt no guilt at all. He feels this way because ”guilt or regret won’t get you anywhere” and ”we didn’t know any better when we were younger’’.

Another participant who walked via ‘Grandparents for the Climate’ carried an image with him, see the photo on the right. To the same critical question, he answered: ”by walking along and distributing this image, I am creating attention and awareness for what has been the consequence of the way we treat the earth’’. It is an image of a grandparent showing a child that the world is warming up in a critical way. This is the image that this activist wanted to spread not only to his own children, but also to the rest of the world. To do so, he walks with the Climate Miles all the way to Glasgow and will show this same image in several primary schools in Glasgow to teach these children about global warming.

All these different opinions, with the same goal in the end; to reduce global warming. Whether such campaigns as hiking will bring us closer to achieving this goal remains an open question.

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