April seems a long time ago!

But April 22nd 2020 was the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Tipped off by a family member, I logged into an online event, featuring a conversation between Greta Thunberg (needing no introduction) and Johan Rockström (leading scientist on Planetary Boundaries). Johan’s exhortation to “make yourself better informed… talk to other people …” was one of the catalysts that got me thinking towards this website and then the Candles For Change initiative.

Johan also spoke persuasively at the TEDx Stockholm Countdown event in November. Well worth watching some of this. (The event proper starts about 3 minutes into the video.)

More recently I found myself glued to the screen through the entirety of the Global launch of the 2020 Lancet Countdown Report. (I can’t get the Event replay links at the top of the page to work, but you might have better luck. The ones at the bottom of the page do work though, and are well worth checking out.) Both hard-hitting and inspiring, the testimonies by a mix of citizens in the front line and top-level health experts and policy makers from around the planet really brings home the urgency of the situation we all face.

Just a day before that, on December 2nd, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, made a landmark speech on the state of the planet. You can read about it and watch it here. (It’s also available on the Climate Change section of the main UN website, which is a mine of global information and well worth exploring. There’s a handy little video, for example, explaining ‘What Is the Paris Agreement? And How Does it Work?’)

And during the fortnight before that – 19th November to 1st December, young climate activists came together from all over the world for MOCK COP26, in their words “to fill the void of the postponed COP26 with a big, inclusive online Mock COP.” Here’s a nice report on it from Channel 4 News’ Fatima Manji.

So the younger generation has been vocal and active during this covid constrained year. Time for we senior citizens to get behind them!

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