At the beginning of the month, I attended a flash mob round dance at West Edmonton Mall protesting the Dakota access pipeline. The energy I felt holding hands, dancing and coming full circle with complete strangers was amazing.
When the singers from Alexis First Nation started beating the drum, people interlocked hands and there was a current of electricity running through us – together we are powerful. There were hundreds of people, of all ethnicities. Gathering in a public space – all of us wanted the same thing, to stand in solidarity with Standing Rock and the water protectors in North Dakota.
If we don’t stand up and change the things that will put our world at risk, no one will.
One of the things that makes me angry about the fossil fuel industry is the fact that the leaders of our parents’ generation are willing to risk the health and safety of future generations so they can get instant gratification and build an entire economy on a house of cards. It’s no secret that fossil fuels won’t sustain the economy forever; it’s no secret that this industry will ultimately put our grandchildren’s lives in danger. It’s so simple. Find something else that makes money — something that doesn’t put human life in jeopardy.
I believe its up to us. Seriously. It is. We can’t keep thinking that it doesn’t have to be us. If we don’t stand up and change the things that will put our world at risk, no one will.
That’s the reality we’re faced with. We are the next generation of leaders, philosophers, intellectuals and artists… our generation can change the entire face of this earth. We have the power, we have the numbers and we have the voice. We just need to take action, and stand up for what we know is right.
Ultimately, it’s our generation that is going to pay the cost for all of this. By the time fossil fuels run out and the economy crashes and the world goes into deficit, it won’t be affecting the people in power, it won’t be affecting the people who are benefiting from it right now. They’ll have a nice retirement fund and be laying cozy on some beach somewhere, not worrying about how they screwed us over.
The environment and the economy will come crashing down on OUR SHOULDERS, not theirs. So don’t think for a second that we aren’t the ones who have to change this. Because we do. If not for the sake of our water, our world and our future generations, do it for this simple truth: that when this house of cards falls down, it will be falling down on us – not them.
Student Voices is a WOA blog feature that presents the experiences and viewpoints of current Arts students. Through their posts, you’ll experience the creativity and passion of our students as they present glimpses into student life. The views and opinions expressed within these posts are solely those of the authors.