The girl who silenced the world at the UN for 5 minutes.

Severn Suzuki a 13 year old Canadian who formed ECHO (Environmental Children’s Organization) speaks from her heart to the UN. Her message is powerful and thought provoking.

Severn says, ‘I’m frightened for my future. I’m here to speak for all generations to come. I’m afraid to go out in the sun now because of the holes in our ozone. I’m afraid to breathe the air because I don’t know what chemicals are in it. You don’t know how to fix the holes in our ozone layer. If you don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it."

But she says so much more. It leaves one pondering if indeed our children’s children will even have a habitable planet to live upon.

In the late 1960s I joined with tens of thousands of other young people in Pittsburgh, PA in a peaceful demonstration. We chanted and sang for several hours with exuberant naive hopes of ending the war. Because of our efforts the park was renamed ‘Peace Park’. Our message wasn’t just about the end of war. It was also about love and respect for each other. The Vietnam war did come to an end eventually. But war didn’t! How many wars have there been since? Our message of peace was forgotten. Peace is a collective worldwide vision. It’s about love for all of humanity and a peaceful worldwide coexistence. Peace sustains us. It is something we carry forward through generations. Peace is a lifestyle. If we don’t live in peace we could ultimately destroy all of humanity and the planet.

As I see it the same message is brought forward again in our Green movement. Living green is about love and respect for ourselves and the planet. Green is a collective worldwide vision which sustains us. It is something we carry forward through generations. Respect for humanity and our eco-system. Green is a lifestyle. If we don’t live with this respect we will destroy our eco-system and ourselves ultimately.

Severn’s message was given in 1992, 16 years later have we got it? In 2008 we have powerful spokespeople for climate change and perhaps we can turn things around. But we’ll only do that if we all jump on board and make changes in our world, governments, societies, businesses and family.

Change begins with me… so I’m doing what I can at home and at work and writing this blog to let you know what I’ve discovered.  And I trust my little bit is enough…

~Bonnee Klein Gilligan

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