With the organizational support of The Amsterdam Collective: Casa de Cultura, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Laajasalon opisto, Rauman Seudun Työnhakijat, RaumArs AiR and Tohmajärvi Residency, I have recorded people of multilingual backgrounds sharing their personal experiences with climate change. Funding has been made possible by Finlandia Foundation National and The Puffin Foundation.
Tower amplifies multilingual voices from around the world to signify the importance of forging global unity in the fight against climate change. Most of the interviewees have been immigrants and refugees, with some displaced due to climate change. Many have discussed the exploitation of resources and of marginalized communities, and how that goes hand-in-hand. Many have shared experiences that have often been very painful. Many have children and worry for their children’s future. The interviewees have also wanted to offer solutions to the climate crisis, and have expressed the importance and pride in speaking in native language when sharing their experiences. I hope that through these stories, you, the viewers can experience a unified, global voice emphasizing the importance of healing nature to heal ourselves, and calling for action to protect the environment. We need global collaboration.
Click on the country to be linked to the World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal that provides scientific evidence of climate change in the interviewee’s location. Please also check Climate Action Tracker.
New York, US
Education is important in teaching people about climate change. People also need activities that can inform them how to do things better. We can start by convincing the people that we care about. We are really pushing consumption when we should be pushing conservation: hold on to what you have; make it little, don’t make it big. This is like a whole mindset that we have grown away from. Everybody has to think about what they are doing. We don’t have any time to wait. We need to see the greater good in making sacrifices, and the greater good is that we are all in this together and we are all related.
She is from north-western Russia, from the city of Murmansk. The topic of climate change is very important to her and her loved ones because what is happening in the world right now is impossible to not take seriously. What she sees happening to nature makes her anxious. She is concerned what will happen to her, her children and grandchildren. She has observed wildlife in northern Russia and how animals go hungry and come closer to the human habitats to eat from trash. This is a big disaster.
For her nature is giving. But some of us humans only take and exploit. She feels that even small acts, like recycling and not littering, can make a difference. She has seen how garbage accumulates on seashores. Some people help remove the garbage but some only destroy. She finds her land very beautiful and wants people to realize that we need to protect and love our lands. When we love the lands we need to understand that we cannot only receive from nature but we also need to give and protect so that nature can continue to exist. For her nature is signaling that it needs us humans to collaborate and help.
During her childhood in Hong Kong she experienced the four seasons. Her family made seasonal foods to help the body adjust and be balanced from one season to another. In spring or fall certain soups were made to reduce dampness or dryness in the body. At school they had two different uniforms for spring/summer and fall/winter. Parents were notified when to switch their child’s uniform according to the season. In today’s climate, the four seasons are blend into one – summer. Traditional Chinese New Year is around January or February. As a young child her mom bought her a new dress or winter coat to celebrate the New Year and her growth. She still remembers the cozy, warm feeling of a new dress made of wool or velvet. In today’s climate higher temperatures linger longer all year around. Children can now wear short sleeve shirts and enjoy ice cream during the traditional Chinese New Year.
She says: “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to convey my voice to the world, especially in my mother tongue (Assyrian). Being an Assyrian woman I am very proud to speak my mother tongue. It was considered a safe environment for living, unlike today. They introduced chemicals, syringes and industrial materials into our food due to soil damage in the lands, and the corruption of our crops due to the inability of man to preserve the proper environmental preservation. The environment has been made unsuitable for coexistence and unsuitable for cultivation in some places. Regardless of the current situation compared to the old civilized situation, where helping each other and supporting our ideas made our environment a pleasant environment to live in and advanced it for the better. Therefore, protecting the environment is the duty of every individual because the environment is the right of every living creature.
كانت البيئة سليمة للعيش على عكس يومنا هذا فقد ادخلوا المواد الكيميائية والمواد المحقنة والصناعية الى غذائنا بسبب تلف التربة في الاراضي وفساد محاصلنا لعدم قدرة الانسان على الحفاظ البيئي السليم ، مما جعل بيئة غير قابلة للتعايش ولا صالحة للزراعة في بعض الاماكن. بغض النظر عن الوضع الحالي مقارنة بالوضع الحضاري القديم ، مساعدة بعضاً البعض ودعم افكارنا يجعل من بيئتنا بيئة محببة للعيش فيها ويقدمها نحو الافضل . لذلك يعد حماية البيئة واجب على كل فرد لان البيئة هي حق لكل كائن حي .
New York, US
With her family they used to love winter gatherings on their frozen pond in upstate New York. They played music and danced on the frozen ice. They miss this fun winter family activity which they have not been able to do for many years. Each winter for the past 15-20 years their pond froze over but for the recent 4-5 years it has stopped freezing entirely.
Connecticut, US / Honduras
He was born in Honduras from “Jaimeneros” parents and Garifuna Culture. He lived in Connecticut for 32 years and recently moved to NYC. He had a garden in Connecticut where he used to plant and grow food. As a farmer, he noticed changes in the environment like the lack of snow in the last few years. The lack of snow affects the crops. As a farmer he also noticed that it became harder to find some products, prices started going up and if he was able to find certain products, they were more expensive and less nutritious (higher price for less quality).
In poor countries, like Honduras, the lack of rain affects farming. The caravans of people traveling from Honduras to the US border is partially happening due to lack of agronomic resources. Many young people cannot find work because there is no income from the farming, and no support for farmers.
He wants to ask churches and different programs to help immigrants find farmers who cultivate coffee and basic grains so that they don’t have to leave their countries and suffer the immigration journey and instead can stay in Honduras and live out of farming and help the country’s economy. Also, opportunities for higher education would help people stay in their country and work as farmers. We have been observing the global warming around the world and trying to learn what we can to make positive changes, learn about our responsibility and give higher respect to the planet where we live on.
She is passionate about climate change because she sees it as an environmental justice issue; not all countries and people are affected by it equally. Guyana is below sea level and 90% of the population live along the coast. People in Guyana are very vulnerable to climate change disasters, especially flooding, storms and also droughts. In recent years there have been even more flooding. Large part of the population depend on agriculture and natural disasters affect livelihoods.
She is also concerned about climate change and how it affects women. Women are a vulnerable group. They are employed in large numbers but they usually are on the bottom of the chain. They usually don’t own land and often they are single parents and sole breadwinners. With climate change disasters there are compound effects to their economic stability. As they loose income due to climate change disasters climate migration begins to happen.
When we include women and girls in projects and programs things tend to get better. Building back a sustainable future that is just and equitable we need to include women and girls.
Nature is beautiful and provides the best way for her to relax and feel calm. Uganda has lots of beautiful nature and animals like mountain gorillas, elephants, zebras and giraffes. Many of these endangered animals live in the many National Parks of Uganda. The source of River Nile is in Uganda surrounded by Mabira Forest. If you travel to Uganda you will have a very beautiful experience exploring nature, seeing animals, doing water sports. Things however are not as they used to be and the rumors are that the government is selling Mabira Forest, the country’s treasure, little by little. The Forest used to be thick; no light could get through it. Because of deforestation it is thinning. Deforestation affects climate change and people’s lives in many ways by enhancing soil erosion and heating up the environment. Forests also hold water and Uganda being an agricultural country, people’s crops suffer due to droughts. Also when the soil is not rich it requires fertilizers and more fertilizers damage the environment. She is very concerned about the compound effects of this cycle. In other parts of Uganda swamps have been drained and houses are built on drained swamps. During high rainfalls the areas get flooded and properties destroyed. And she wonders what happened to the animals when the swamps were drained. She worries that every day that we lose more nature in the name of industrialization, modernization, urbanization. Uganda was colonized by the British and an explorer called Uganda the Pearl of Africa because of its immense natural beauty – the animals, forests, mountains, savannas. That beauty she is worried is fading and she is further worried because Uganda as a poor country needs the tourism to provide income to its people.
He greets friends from all around the world and also greets those friends who love nature and want to protect nature as he does. He is from a small, coastal city Tartus in Syria. He has noticed changes in the environment due to climate change which he finds frightening and a dangerous problem. He worries that the environmental changes will eliminate wildlife which in terms can affect the continuation of humanity. In his view the planet Earth is our mother and we are her children. We must feel her pain because when we harm the natural world we harm the planet and then ourselves. The planet has feelings and emotions like we do. She suffers and also rejoices with us. He feels that we should protect nature as we would protect our own children. We need to protect nature from pollution, deforestation, impact of factories and instead, plant trees all over the world and practice cleanliness.
She comes from the southern part of Madagascar, the driest part of the country. The country is big, a size of France, with humid and dry climates. Madagascar produces many products that are known all around the world, such as vanilla, cacao and many fruits like litchi. The region where she comes from is getting drier and drier.
Climate change/drought has had a bad effect on the people of Madagascar, especially in the South. Rains have become scarcer and it is very sad because people are chasing for water. Without rain there is no food. Agriculture, such as rice, manioc, mais, is depended on water. Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world; everything is done manually. Because of the severe droughts people are becoming cruel to each other. It is no longer safe for everybody because people are hungry and do whatever they can to survive.
Another problem is the practice of ‘tavy’. TAVY is a way to ravage the ground by fire to clear lands for growing food. Sometimes the fires become uncontrollable and cause further deforestation. People in Madagascar don’t know that this compounds to a big problem. Without forests the rain will not come. All living things need water, and domestic animals die without. Without forests also wildlife will disappear. They are trying to protect the endangered lemurs but lemurs will also disappear if the forests disappear.
She feels that people need to be educated to love and protect nature. Unfortunately in the deep countryside people don’t have schools. So they live as they think is good for them. If they think that burning and cutting forests is good for them then they just do it. They may not understand how much our lives depend on trees and that drought is caused by deforestation. Education is important to love and not destroy nature. She stresses that we need each other, we depend on each other. We need forests. A Forest is a life and we have to plant more of them.
He is from Iraq, from a planet that is suffering. He wants to address all human beings on this earth and particularly his own people.
He feels that we have to face the fact that our environment is dying, our planet is dying. We have difficult problems to solve. For example, the animal diversity is decreasing all around the world. In Iraq there are species heading to extinction.
The southern part of Iraq is getting saltier. The Shaat alarab river has increased in salinity. This body of water and Mesopotamian Marshes are decreasing in volume which impact the diversity of the species living there.
He feels that we have to use our water resources wisely and carefully. Excessive use of water is a burden on our environment. We need to consider that we only have limited amount of resources. To ensure that future generations have a livable planet we need to live sustainably.
He also finds that the use of plastic in every part of our daily lives is another heavy burden on our environment.
He requests that we collaborate with each other and more effectively collaborate globally. People in charge should take serious actions to reduce the gas emissions to reduce global warming. We should collaborate to kill the big monster that we have created. In the end if we can minimize our impact on this planet, perhaps then our grandchildren and their children can live longer.
English, Hindi, Kutchi & Gujarati
She comes from Chennai, India and has experienced many devastating climate events in recent years. Cyclones used to be rare but in past six years they have been frequent. One was so scary that she feared for her and her family’s life. She lives in a multi-story building and saw trees violently swaying. The cyclone passed and many more have come since then and will come in the future. Life becomes difficult when living in a state of fear anticipating the next devastating cyclone. Extreme climate events caused by global warming, like droughts and flooding, have also caused economic devastation in her state. She tries her best to live sustainably and has started a fashion brand that uses sustainable and recycled materials. She urges everyone to stop and consider their actions because the environment really needs it.
She feels that one of the biggest problems in the world is climate change. In her native Ukraine there used to be four distinct seasons but now winter barely exists. Because there have been less snow the rivers and lakes are drying up which then causes the agriculture to suffer. In small towns people do not have irrigation systems and when the wells dry up for watering the plants the land also dries up. Agriculture suffers. Due to drying there have also been several forest fires and the fires have caused villages to burn down. As a consequence the inhabitants of the villages have suffered from severe smoke inhalation and allergies. She wants to stress that we need to take care of our lands and consider how each one of us can help. In Ukraine there are several programs to protect the environment but they have been poorly implemented. She feels that we need to support the scientists who research climate change and listen to them how we can stop climate change.
She is from India. What she has witnessed over the years is that climate change is real and it is a big problem. Her mother says that the climate was nothing like the one they have today in Kerala region. They used to have distinct climates throughout the year. Now, they can have chilly mornings, very hot afternoons and rainy evenings – all seasons in a single day. This may sound funny or unreal but the condition is really bad. Sometimes it rains all day with a temperature above 30 degrees C. In many areas they have landslides, flooding and many other calamities due to this new climate. Many have lost their livelihood, their homes and some have even lost their lives.
She has experienced how climate change has significantly affected nature and people. If you’d ask her what the reasons are for this climate change, her only answer is that it is caused by what human beings have done. We have cut down trees and polluted our natural resources. We need to understand the situation and act accordingly otherwise our future generations will have even worse conditions than what we have now.
Some years ago he bought land in southern Mexico, Yucatan. The indigenous Mayan people live in Yucatan and he learned about how to enter a new community of people. As he was accepted to their community he started learning from them. They shared how changes are happening in their environment, like unpredictable seasonal changes. They also shared their natural ways of adapting to the changes. Mayans have cultivated the land for more than a thousand years and have great wisdom. However they are often treated as inferior in Mexico. He thinks that the view the scientific community has on climate change is important to acknowledge but he also thinks that if we want changes in terms of protecting the environment we have to be able to open our hearts and minds. Not all solutions will come from our way of intellectualizing but also from having a deeper connection with ourselves and our hearts. He learned in southern Mexico that when one has a respectful attitude towards a community that has cultivated the land for thousands of years and wants to really listen one may find solutions to environmental problems.
He is from northern Italy and his experience of this region from his childhood is different from today. He remembers clear blue skies. Now looking at the same sky he sees a blanket of gray above the horizon. Now there is dust and pollution in the air which we breathe and which damages our health. The cities of northern Italy are in one of the most polluted regions in Europe. There are climate events now that are more violent like torrential rains and even tornadoes. These events were rare in the past but now they are frequent which is a clear evidence of climate change. Temperatures are rising, summers are hotter with intense periods of heat.
As a father of two he is very worried what the future holds. He hopes that his children will have the pleasure of experiencing nature in its fullness and beauty as he had. He thinks that his contribution in protecting the environment may be small but he hopes to sensitize people to do their part, like adding drops in the ocean to make the impact stronger.
Turkish & Kurmanji
Turkey is an important country for its rich history and culture. The country is also important for its natural beauty. Because of the four seasons it is possible to enjoy both summer and winter sports there. He is concerned that in recent years the government and the society have not paid enough attention to the climate and nature. He believes more social awareness is needed in this matter. He also feels that national and international research are needed to save the climate and nature.
He was very young when his family moved from Afganistan to Pakistan. Approximately 20 years ago the climate was better in Pakistan when there were less people and cars there. Today, the climate is much worse because people do not follow regulations and do not seem to consider nature. We are part of nature, he says. If we take care of nature, it means that we are taking care of ourselves and can have a better life.
She has spent a lot of her time in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and has seen a lot of changes over the years. Last summer she noticed some big changes. There have been more shark and seal encounters in Cape Cod. Also, you never hear of a tornado in Cape Cod but recently there was a tornado on their street. She and her husband couldn’t believe the tornado warnings but it came and whipped through their street knocking down many trees. It made a lot of damage in ten minutes.
She feels that the absence of spring and fall seasons has caused her to experience mental health problems like depression. She finds an abrupt change from cold to hot challenging. It was not like that when she was a child.
Finns celebrate name days, meaning that on each day of the year someone’s name is acknowledged. There is an old way of saying related to the name days: Simo builds bridges and Antti carries buggy shafts. Simo’s day is celebrated in October and it used to be that the winter frost came by Simo’s day. By Antti’s day which is celebrated in November, the frost used to be strong enough for the horse buggies to travel in the forests. The farmers could begin forestry work as the ground was sturdy and not soft under the buggy reels. In today’s climate the winter frost comes much later and sometimes not until January. The old-school horse buggies would sink into the soft forest floors. She believes that a good frost would also give nature a chance to rest. Now there are more plant diseases, pests and weeds and more pesticides are needed to control farming.
She comes from Guadalajara, Mexico where she has lived all her life. She has learned about climate crisis in the news. People in Mexico are asked to take care of the environment because many throw their trash in nature without care. People don’t really believe that climate is changing, and the government of Mexico doesn’t seem to really care either. Things are changing in the city. She often travels outside of the city to enjoy nature and the city views. With her friends they have noticed that more and more buildings and new neighborhoods erupt. It is known that there are supposedly accidental fires outside of the city and then the cleared land is developed into new neighborhoods. She hopes that people would care to preserve nature. She cherishes the wisdom of Uruguayan president José Mujica who was asked what he would do for Uruguay if he had unlimited amounts of money. He had said that he would not only help Uruguay but the entire world because we all need to be good neighbors to each other. Melting ice should be channeled so that everyone can have fresh water, in the cities and even in the countries that are more on the outskirt. Some people in her city don’t have access to fresh water. But money and power seem to weigh more. To find solutions she feels that we need to be able to generate this idea in us that we don’t need all the things to feel comfortable. She also thinks that we need to have more awareness of each other and each other’s problems. To fix problems we need more empathy. Empathy and awareness are the key for opening our hearts and minds for generating real change.
She first learned about the connection to nature and its elements in a dance class. Imagining connections to the earth and the universe, she felt her body in access between the two and how this influenced her strength and energy. Finding these connections in her own body was immensely revelatory to her and she wishes similar open-mindedness to anyone.
She is from Brazil, Porto Alegre and thinks that it is impossible not to see the effects of climate change. She has particularly seen its signs in the southern Brazil, through torrential rains, flash floods, and heavy winds that now occur more frequently. These climate events have led to people losing their homes and belongings that often took life times to build. Many farmers have lost their crops, their livelihood but also this has made it harder for people to access food. She thinks that it is important to be attentive to the individual choices we make because these choices have an impact in climate change. But collective pressure for actions is needed so that we can detain further climate changes.
She is from Taiwan, Taipei. Since childhood she has enjoyed walks to the mountains and coast, and has learned to appreciate nature. Nature has an important role in her life. She is 30 years old and has witnessed big changes in the Taiwanese environment due to climate change. One of the most obvious changes is the warming. Taiwan belongs to the subtropical climate zone, and the four seasons are not very distinct. However the winters used to be colder than the summers. But in recent years the winters have been warmer, even 30 degrees Celsius has been recorded.
“看見台灣 Beyond Beauty — Taiwan from Above” (2013) is a documentary by Taiwanese film director Chi Po-Lin about the beauty and also sadness of the Taiwanese landscape. The entire movie was filmed from a bird-view and documents Taiwan’s spectacular nature and also the greed and destructiveness of humans.
Taiwan is well-known for recycling waste. Approximately 20 years ago, Taiwan started to promote recycling. Plastics, glass, metal, paper and bio waste are appropriately sorted at schools, public premises and homes. In recent years, they have also developed different technologies to reuse or combine environmentally friendly materials in production. For instance, they apply banana peels into textile or recycled plastic for new products.
Taiwan promotes awareness and has devoted to finding alternatives and solutions to climate change issues alongside many other countries. She stresses that the Earth and its climates concern all of us around the globe. We all have to act together to make a better world for our future generations.
The weather in Chile has been changing and for instance in 2019 there was a very strange phenomenon to southern Chile: a tornado. This dangerous weather event is very uncommon to Chile. Over decades the weather and environment have changed. As a child he remembers distinct seasons. December used to be very hot and dry, and August and September very cold. An old saying was: fortunately we got through August, meaning that for the elderly coldness of August was sometimes too much to bare. But now it is common to have rain in November and December which used to be the hot, dry season. The seasons are less distinct but the extreme hot and cold temperatures have risen. He feels that nature is complaining of pain caused by humans. It is crying out for help by reacting with big natural disasters. We should all be aware of this and do something to protect the creation. In his view nature was given by the Creator for us to cherish and not to exploit until the last drop. He thinks that education about environmental protection is important. But we cannot ask others to act if we don’t serve as examples ourselves. He wishes good luck for everyone!
She feels that climate change is a global problem, including her native Georgia. In Georgia they used to have four distinct seasons but today, she feels that they have only two seasons, winter and summer. It is either too hot or too cold which causes difficulties in cultivating the land and getting a good harvest. Georgia is known for wine. Without suitable weather and climate like a normal Georgian autumn, it is impossible to have a good harvest. This has been a big problem to the farmers. She also feels that people are unable to adapt to the rapid changes in weather which affects human health. One of the most painful problems in Georgia is the highly polluted air in the capital Tbilisi caused by vehicle exhaust. She is sorry to see that the country has not done enough to provide appropriate services to improve the quality of the environment in Tbilisi and Georgia.
კლიმატის ცვლილება დღეს დღეობოით არის ერთ ერთი ყველაზე გლობალური პრობლემა მთელს სამყაროში რომელიც შეინიშნება მთელ დედამიწაზე და მათ შორის ჩემს ქვეყანაში საქართველოშიც. ჩვენ ჩვეულებრივ სააქრთველოში გვაქვს ოთხი სეზონი, გაზაფხული ,ზაფხული, შემოდგომა და ზამთარი . ჩემს ბავშვობაში მახსოვს მე ძალინ ლამაზი გაზაფხული და შემოდგომა, მაგრამ დღეს დღეობით მე ვფიქრობ, რომ ჩვენ მხოლოდ ორი სეზონიღა გვაქვს, უმეტესად ზამთარი და ზაფხული.ძალიან სიცხე ან ძალიან სიცივე, რაც პრობლემას უქმნის ქვეყნის კულტივაციას და მოსავალს.მაგალითად საქართველოში გვაქვს ბევრი სახეობის ვაზი და ვაწარმოებთ ღვინოს . ამიტომ თუ არ გვაქვს შესაბამისი კლიმატი მაგალითად ნორმალური შემოდგომა მოსავალიც არ იქნება კარგი. აქედან გამომდინარე ფერმერ ხალხსაც უქმნის საკმაოდ დიდ პრობლემას . კიდევ ჩემის აზრით ეს მოქმედებს ადამიანის ჯანმრთელობაზეც, ანუ ამინდების სწრაფი ცლილება , ერთი უკიდურესობიდან მეორეში ,სიხციდან სიცივეში ან პირიქით,გარკვრულ შეუგუებლობას უქმნის განსაკუთრებით წნევის და გულის სისხლძარღვთა დაავადების მქონე ადამიანებს. და ბოლოს ჩემი ქვეყნის მტკივნეული პრობლემა ეს არის საქართველოს დედაქალაქ თბილისის ძალზედ დაბინძურებული ჰაერი, რომელიც გამოწვეულია ავტომანქანების გამონაბოლქვით და მოუვლელობით , რომელსაც არ უწევენ შესაბამის სამსახურს რომ გააუმჯობესონ დედაქალაქის ეკოლოგიური მდგომარეობა.
She comes from Guang Zhou, China. She says: Today, we all notice that the climate has changed drastically. It is completely different from what we experienced as children. When she was a child she read a book about the four seasons with her schoolmates – spring, summer, autumn and winter. Today, the children’s books still describe the four seasons the same way. But the fact is that the seasons are confusing now. Today, you can experience four seasons in a day or a week. In comparison to her childhood this is very abnormal. Chinese New Year is in February which means that the spring is coming soon. It also means that the temperatures are still cold. Last year when she visited Guang Zhou for the Chinese New Year she wore a short sleeve shirt. When she walked around she observed that some people wore autumn clothes, others wore winter clothes – clothes for four seasons were worn by people within one day. This scenario was abnormal in the past and it is now normal. She finds these changes so strange, and also challenging to explain to her children. What do four seasons mean? Can we do something about this? She hopes that we can each give our best effort to do something about the climate change. For example, if things are recyclables we should make sure to put them in the right bins so that they are sent to the recycling centers. She hopes that everyone all around the world does what they can to help. Even small things matter. She wishes to return back to the four seasons.
Even though she is from the capital region in France she was brought up to be close to nature. France has a temperate climate and offers versatile nature with the sea, mountains and forests. Since her childhood she has noticed that seasons have changed a lot with winters being warmer and summers having episodes of heat waves. She has also noticed the disappearance of birds. They are more rare now.
She tries to show her children how to be close to nature as she was in her youth which is not easy in the urbanized civilizations. She tries to improve the situation with small daily actions like avoiding driving, eating less meat, making her own food instead of buying processed foods, and taking trips to forests. She thinks that it is important to educate children to be fully aware of nature and its climates, and to show them that nature is very fragile and our actions matter in trying to curb the rapid advancement of climate change.
As a child he always commuted to school by skis. Every winter there was snow. In recent years there have been less and less snow in southern Finland. Last winter there was barely any snow. He loves skiing but was unable to ski even once.
As a child he also did forestry work with his father. They used a horse buggy. In today’s climate it would be impossible to do forestry work with a horse buggy because the forest floors are too soft, not frozen and the buggy wheels would sink into the forest floors. Lots of changes in climate have happened in six decades that he can remember easily.
The summer weather in the northern Spain has been hot and dry, with temperatures around 42-50 degrees Celsius. That is very unusual for the north. She cannot understand how people keep denying climate change.
For more than ten years people have depended, specially in the South of Spain, on water containers to survive and the phenomenon keeps getting bigger. He thinks that the seasons are very unbalanced. The change of seasons is not happening the same time as it used to. There have been a significant rise in temperatures during the past years. There are also problems with big storms and tornadoes that are affecting the coast areas of the Mediterranean, like Valencia, Castellón and the southeast of Spain. Past winter the coldest temperatures in past 50 or 60 years were measured. Madrid was under snow for almost two weeks. This incident brought many problems to people: people died buried under snow, many were trapped in buses and trapped in their cars on highways.
There have been extreme weather events in Germany in recent years. In past few years there have been extreme drought in parts of Germany. This has caused huge losses in agriculture. With little rain the soil has dried out even in deep layers. In the late summer 2021, another part of Germany experienced heavy rain. In a short time period small streams of water became torrents. They swept away anything on their edges – bridges, fields, factories. As a cause there was a lot of environmental pollution because factories that used oil and other pollutants ran into the buildings that were not destroyed. Many people became homeless and lost all of their belongings. About 60 people lost their lives. Although these changes and the weather phenomena are taking place, there still are a large following of climate deniers. They simply don’t want to see climate change or don’t think it’s man-made. This makes her very upset and angry. She has seen changes herself, and being educated and connected to the sciences for decades she believes that science can easily prove that climate change is man-made. She believes that it is a matter of accepting it. She finds that in Germany there are so few shades of gray in the discussion. Things are black or white, or right or left. Like people are becoming vegan and if one is not vegan then that person is considered a bad person. She feels that the discussions should be less heated and instead of looking to blame and push someone to become a vegan for instance, rather help individuals find solutions for contributing. We can ride bikes when we commute. We can buy less clothing, or buy secondhand clothing. We should take trips to forests to find a connection with our natural environment. Her wish is that we can pull it together and consider our children because they are the ones who will suffer if we don’t act now. And she feels that our contributions don’t need to restrict our lives. We should become more aware of climate change so that we can leave our children something that is worth living for.
Lithuanian & Russian
She is very concerned how excessive we are about buying clothes. To her it seems we are drowning our pain in shopping to find some joy in buying new items. We should rather be more reasonable if we need something or not. If we don’t really need the item then it just becomes landfill in the future and hurts the planet even more. So much garbage is produced and the quality of clothing is poor. It is very sad to watch how over-consumption hurts the planet. She feels that together we can do something about helping the environment. We should consider our children and what kind of a planet we leave for them. We should recycle and reuse products to protect our planet.
New York, US
It was a mild winter. Without the precipitation, snow on the ground, the water to fill the rivers there’s a potential of forest fires and lessening of water supply. It is worrisome to have such mild winters.
He remembers July 9th, a few years ago, especially well because it is the independence day of Argentina and that day it snowed. That day he traveled from New York to be with his family. It never snows in Buenos Aires and everyone was amazed to see the snow. It was even in the news. He was not excited because he was not looking forward to another winter after New York winter.
She is worried how the climate may change and how it may influence her future. She hopes that we can stop climate change.
A couple of years ago she visited the Amazon forest for the first time in her life and found herself overwhelmed by an infinite sense of beauty and the power of nature, trees, water, birds and other living species. She felt like a speckle in the panorama of life. In seeing such beauty in an environment full of vitality and strength made her think of other environments that are dying, like forests, coral reefs, and glaciers. The loss of these environments made her feel like losing tissue of her own body, her own life, and all the richness that she carries within herself.
At her home country in Austria she has experienced climate change and environmental protection issues. She hears that the mountain glaciers are thinning and the ice is melting more and more rapidly. This causes flash floods and stone falls that bury roads and destroy houses. The melting ice makes the rivers overflow. Temperatures have risen. Temperatures above 38 degrees C are not uncommon any more. She asks herself if there is anything she could do to protect the environment and climate. She questions whether her family needs a car. Maybe they can rent one when needed. She tries to avoid traveling by plane and considers traveling only locally. She also thinks that it is better to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. It is important for all of us to ask ourselves what we can do to protect the environment.
She was born in Merida, Venezuela which is part of the Andean Mountain range. As a child going to school she always needed to wear a sweater, and there used to be fog at dawn. The fog has disappeared over the years due to global warming. The mountain city is now a warm city. Warming has also affected agriculture. In Merida there are many grasslands and with the rise of temperatures the soil has become more acid and crops have been damaged. In Venezuela there are many microclimates. In the central region there has been an increasing amount of drought and livestock have suffered. Other human caused damages like illegal mining in the rainforest region has polluted rivers which has caused fauna to die. Contamination has brought up diseases like malaria and yellow fever that were practically eradicated from the country. Excessive rainfalls have caused many landslides causing people to die and roads to fall. Supplies cannot be delivered when roads fall. She has a love of scuba diving. There used to be lots of scuba diving in the coastal region but with the rising ocean temperatures the corals and fauna have died.
He has noticed that because of climate change there are only two seasons in Greece: summer and winter. Summers are much warmer than what they used to be. The night temperatures do not drop but remain hot. The intense heat causes heart problems for many. The change has also affected the food. It does not taste the same as in his youth. He feels we need to do something to protect the environment. We have a power with our vote to press the politicians to protect the planet.
New York, US
He is excited that the youth are getting involved in impacting climate change. His niece knows how to recycle which is an advancement from the days when he was much younger. The earth needs to be a sustainable place to live and it is important for everyone to be part of that cause.
New York, US
She has a photo from her childhood with snow higher than herself. It has not snowed like that since. She remembers the two hurricanes that happened in NYC recently. She thinks that hurricanes in NYC should generally be so rare that they happen 100 years apart.