Tomorrow Is Too late
The Indigo Press
“WE YOUNG people are powerful. We deserve to be heard and listened to,” writes 15-year-old Grace Maddrell in their first book, about the activism and work of youth climate strikers across the globe.
Based in Somerset, UK, Grace went to their first climate strike in February 2019. It sparked their passion for the environment and they have since become an activist, fighting for both environmental justice and LGBTQ+ rights, working for Fridays for Future, the youth-led movement that started with Greta Thunberg’s protests in 2018.
After they took part in the global climate justice strike in September 2019, Grace was inspired to collect the voices of other youths fighting climate change. They sent out a tweet, calling for young climate activists across the globe to tell their stories. Within hours, Grace was flooded with responses. Tomorrow Is Too Late is a collection of essays from some of those who responded.
With contributors aged between 8 and 25 years, from places including Brazil, Uganda, Australia and Palestine, this book provides a powerful snapshot of how climate change is affecting the world today. It also shows how the younger generation is fighting back, whether by giving speeches at United Nations summits about the effects of climate change or striking to raise awareness.
Each essay is given a short introduction by Grace, providing background on the person telling their story. Some of the writers are already seeing the effects of the climate crisis at first-hand. Michael Bäcklaund, a 17-year-old from Israel, says he has seen friends die because of more frequent floods. He also says the climate crisis is often ignored to focus on political conflicts: he was told by Israel’s minister of energy that it was for the younger generation to fix the climate problem.
Coming from an Indigenous background, 20-year-old Lucila Auzza from Argentina feared that she wouldn’t survive to adulthood because of a lack of drinkable water as a child. She says the media there aren’t showing what the government is really doing to the rainforests and how many lives have been put at risk as a result. “Throughout 2017, 42 per cent of deforestation in the country took place where regulations did not allow it,” she says. Auzza says that rich countries care more about their economies than the environment.
Many of the essays call for the leaders of the world to act now, rather than leaving it up to the next generation. “Enough of climate talks, what we need now is climate action,” says 24-year-old Patricia Kombo from Kenya who started an initiative to get environmental education taught in schools.
“We should not have to take the hand of the adults and drag them towards the solution that will save our planet,” says 19-year-old Fionnuala Braun from Canada. She says that, in her lifetime, she has experienced more frequent extreme weather conditions, and that every year more Canadians are losing their homes to forest fires.
Tomorrow Is Too Late is a remarkable book that shows how educated and passionate young people can be about saving the planet. It also makes it clear that climate change is very much a global issue. Hearing the voices of children experiencing the impacts is heartbreaking, yet empowering.
The strength and determination of such people show how previous generations have failed to care for the environment. But this book is inspirational, and will ignite the inner environmentalist of those who read it. It encourages and educates people of all ages to fight for the future of our planet because tomorrow is too late. “Even a small action that you take is better than no action,” says Grace.
Article amended on 30 September 2021
We have corrected some of the pronouns used in this piece.
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