“We’re out of time, you’re out of excuses”
For all her 16 years of age, Greta Thunberg did not pull her punches when she confronted the international delegates gathered for COP24 in Katowice. This new youth icon in the fight for climate change is neither optimistic nor half-hearted. She points the finger of blame at today’s leaders, head-on. Meanwhile, the students of the Grandes Écoles are leveling accusations too, but with a different tone. More measured, more reasonable, their Student Manifesto for an Ecological Awakening carefully formulates its threat to boycott companies that are helping to ruin their future.
With children shouting powerlessly on one side and leaders set in pernicious ways of thinking on the other, those students may have an important role somewhere in between. Perhaps they could be the hinge that opens the door to a more sustainable and just world. Admittedly, they don’t draw much attention compared to high school students demonstrating in the streets, or yellow-vest protesters smashing store windows. But while their discourse may be quieter, and less bedecked with revolutionary lyricism, their action is no less difficult and ambitious. Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the some 500 HEC students who signed that pledge. Let’s think of them at the moments in life when they, with no support other than their conscience, will have to say no.
No to a great job because it is incompatible with their principles. No to a manager who insists on committing some crime against the environment, while most turn a blind eye. No to the material comfort enjoyed by their parents. All these first decisions, which they will make as future leaders, will combine to form the great annals of the world’s young elite and its ethics. For this generation that is said to be individualistic and lacking in ideals… For these millennials hooked on video games and social networks, it will also be an opportunity to show their elders what they really have within them.Lire aussi : 10 questions sur le manifeste pour un réveil écologique