VIEW: If this is our last chance, who is our best hope?

This is a guest post from Teigan Margetts, Co-Founder of Ethicool Books. 

With Sydney engulfed in the worst floods in more than a century, not even 18 months out from when the entire state was suffocated by generation-defining bushfires, it’s not hard to start to draw conclusions. Just as scientists predicted, the effects of climate change are beginning to show. Weather events like we’ve seen are set to become even more common, with storms, floods and droughts plaguing us on a more consistent basis. 

Just how much more can we withstand, and should we have to? 

While an intellectual debate still rages on the causes of climate change, so too does debate ensue on the solution. But one thing is for sure: we’re running out of time. So in what – or more importantly- in whom – should we invest to ensure a better future? 

Time is of the essence 

As popularised in David Attenborough’s game-changing documentary, A Life on Our Planet, the world is, indeed, running out of time to address climate change. As the documentary highlights, life on our planet will become extremely more challenging if we don’t do two things, and fast: reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and find ways to draw down more carbon from our atmosphere. Doing these two things won’t solve climate change, as it has already happened, but it will mitigate its most disastrous effects. 

Fortunately, we do have a solution: many in fact. As the incredible documentary 2040: The Regeneration showed, there are many (currently available) solutions to help the world reach our climate change goals. They may not all be easy to execute, sure, but should we be willing, they’re readily available. 

The ‘should we be willing’ is the part that is the most troublesome. Fighting climate change involves, firstly, believing in it, and secondly, making holistic changes to the way we live, which may involve changing our attitudes on a whole bunch of topics. As famous scientist Gus Speth once said: 

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change.”

“The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation.”

Who will make real and lasting change? 

There’s no doubt that making the changes required to limit the impacts of climate change will be difficult, and we’re running out of time to do just that. So if not us, then who? 

The answer is right in front of us: our children. While it may be difficult for many in our generation to change, if we educate our children on the issues at hand and help them grow up imagining the world differently, then it will be much easier for them to create it in their favour. 

Between the ages of 3 months and 6 years old, children learn the majority of values that they will hold dear to them for the rest of their lives. Values such as caring for the planet, valuing equality and understanding their impact can – and should – be taught from a young age so the next generation can have the best chance of creating a better world.  

About the expert 

Teigan Margetts is the Co-Founder of Ethicool Books. Ethicool creates beautiful children’s books on topics that matter, including climate change, sustainability, equality, mental health, and many more. All of Ethicool’s books are printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink to minimize their environmental impact. 

Teigan founded Ethicool after the 2020 Australian bushfires. She was terrified that burning summers and flooded winters would become the ‘norm’ for her two young sons, and wanted to start important conversations early about the positive impact we can all make to our planet’s future. 

Image description: Headshot of Teigan smiling at the camera. She has long brown hair, wears a light blue top and is in front of a green blurred background.