Nurturing Future Green Activists.

Last year, I moved my site from Natural-Writes to Hanna writes. The following is from my latest blog post there.

The headline: Jakarta Is The World’s Fastest Sinking City is shocking because I’d always thought that climate change would devastate cities such as: Venice, Miami or perhaps Amsterdam first. According to a NY Times' article however, in Jakarta’s case, climate change is not the only culprit:

“After decades of reckless growth and negligent leadership, about 40 percent of Jakarta now lies below sea level. Why? A lack of urban planning means that there are next to no sewers and an extremely limited network of municipal [piped-in] water. Consequently, Jakartans are forced to illegally dig numerous wells, extracting groundwater and draining the underground aquifers on which the city rests...”


To halt the sinking, the city needs to stop the digging of wells, which means Jakarta must provide residents with municipal [piped-in] water, clear the garbage filled waterways and at a cost of untold billions — retrofit one of the world’s biggest cities with a sewer system…


Hydrologists say the city has only a decade to halt its sinking. If it can’t, coastal Jakarta, with its millions of residents, will end up underwater, along with much of the nation’s economy.”

Jakarta’s problems are similar to those faced by coastal cities worldwide. Rising sea levels due to climate change, failing or non-existent infrastructure [crumbling water pipes, lack of sewers] and an unrelenting stream of pollution [plastics, toxic chemicals, etc.], are only some of the threats that your children will confront in their future.

Unless we deal with the above mentioned threats, coastal cities, like Jakarta, Miami and others could be underwater in your children’s lifetime. Visiting disappearing destinations is already a booming tourism industry niche and it’s heartbreaking that your children won’t be able to experience some of our planet’s most amazing places.

As a parent, how can you prepare your children to survive such a bleak future?

Consider sending your kids to a school such as Green School Bali, where they can learn to become resilient leaders in our rapidly deteriorating environment.

Better yet, create a “green school” in your own community and encourage your children to follow the example of two young activists, Melati and Isabel Wijsen below.  

In this TED presentation,  Melati and Isabel discuss how they organized a movement - “Bye Bye Plastic Bags” to end the plastic blight in Bali .


“I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside…”

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Alligator Ed's picture

In California, allegedly the trend-setter for the rest of the US, the citizenry is subjected to a measly 10 cent charge for using plastic bags when shopping at certain locations, such as food stores. 10 cents! Absurd. These two young women, through energy and determination have started a movement.

As one said "we children now are 100% of the future". Perhaps with their youth, enthusiasm, idealism, they and others like them can provide a model for other such essentially cost-free remedies to societal ills. Of course, there are millions motivated by greed and unconcern who will always hinder such attempts at a better world. Is Bali only Fantasy Island? Can this be made to work on other important things and other important projects.

Children don't have to be the only messengers and movers. Think of the rising epidemic of homelessness in San Francisco. Of course, the cause is austerity, outsourcing, tax-free havens, etc. But a simple solution which is already being tested is to provide certain homeless individuals with unused motel rooms, with certain restrictions of course. The economic benefit would be at least three-fold.

1. The underutilized motels would get a stipend for rooms that are supplied to the homeless, boosting the buying power of the motel establishments. This then becomes an income multiplier.

2. The city of SF is likely losing tourist revenue every time a tourist is repulsed by scattered hypodermic needles and human feces on public sidewalks. If that tourist is not enamored of SF's colorful past, architecture, and attractions, the sight and smell of the detritus on public walkways will guarantee that those tourists will never come back again.

3. The city would save on expensive waste remediation engendered by the homeless situation.

Money talks. These three factors can be applicable to any city, regardless of size with a significant homeless population. These measures won't cure homelessness--only ending austerity and neoliberalism will do that, but such a plan will make the lives of many people happier and perhaps produce some jobs.

6 users have voted.
Song of the lark's picture

extremely bad sign. The Arctic is warmer than normal, Siberia and the boreal forest in Canada and upper US is cold from the two halves of the polar vortex being pushed down the latitudes. 2 years in a row and a troubling sign.
We have about 10 years before all hell breaks loose. Lose the arctic ice and you lose the globe from massive feedback loops, of albedo and methane release.

5 users have voted.