A recent report from UNICEF says young people around the world understand that their generation will have to suffer, pay for, and attempt to rectify the damage that is being done to the Earth by “man-fuelled” climate change. Children from around the world are powerfully expressing their fears for the future and the actions they need us all to take now.
Four videos this Earth Day stand out in that they use entertainment to carry their message that we must act now to preserve the future for future generations. All suggest a solution that individuals, groups, and organizations can take now is planting trees.
On 4/20/2015, spoken Word video star Prince EA dropped “Dear Future Generations: Sorry,” an apology letter to Future Generations which imagines a future without trees where the Amazon jungle has become the “Amazon Desert”. He speaks to the care for the Earth that traditional cultures have for the Earth juxtaposed with the ways that we take Earth for granted:
I read that the Native Americans
had such consideration for the planet
that they felt responsible
for how they left the land
for the next seven generations
which brings me much sorrow
because most of us today
don’t event care about tomorrow
that we put profit above people
greed above need
the rule of gold above the golden rule
we use nature as a credit card with no spending limit
over drafting animals to extinction
stealing your chance to ever see their uniqueness
and become friends with them
I am sorry about our mindset
cause we had the nerve to call
Prince EA is partnered with Stand For Trees, which enables donations for supporting forest communities in Africa, Asia, and South America at the click of a button.
The three other videos featured in this post advocate that people get their hands dirt and plant trees in their communities on Earth Day and beyond.
A Native American tradition says when you take something from the Earth, you must offer something in return. The One Billion Trees campaign is a global “give back” to the Earth, as an offering for all the planet gives humanity. With over 500 organizations and businesses spearheading this historic effort, acclaimed artists and youth have come together to produce several viral videos for kids of all ages. The aim is to plant one billion trees and catalyze a cultural movement that addresses climate change through everyday actions for youth and families. As of April 21st, 2015, over 175,000 people have joined the Facebook event page in support of the campaign.
Pacha’s Evolution of Dance is a scene from the animated book, Pacha’s Pajamas: A Story Written Nature, in which nine-year old Pacha performs a Michael Jackson tribute dance at the largest nature festival ever! No humans are invited. In the middle of her dance, she unmasks herself and after collecting her thoughts, shares an inspiring message for global reforestation! Pacha is voiced by 13 year old United Nations youth ambassador, musician, and environmental activist Ta’Kaiya Blaney. Ta’Kaiya is also featured in HBO’s family film “Saving Our Tomorrow,” which will be released Earth Day 2015. Famed artist, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), narrates the video and is joined by Gerald Rivers, who channels Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the form of a Jaguar:
I have a Dream that one day
All of Nature will be honored as equal
That the human family
will recognize the rights of Mother Earth
and stop troubling
this precious home of ours.
Will dream with me?
Will you dream for freedom?
Let freedom sing!
The Ghost of Earth Day Present is a Master Shift original short that plays off the ghost of Christmas present scene of the holiday classic, A Christmas Story. In the film, a man who is a profligate waster of everything from tissue paper to napkins to toothpaste is followed by a Native American man who looks on solemnly.
Speak For The Trees is a live action music video starring the indigenous youth group Earth Guardians and the author of Pacha’s Pajamas, Aaron Ableman (aka A-Natural). The song’s main message is conveyed by twelve year old rapper, Itzcuauhtl, “I’m not the Lorax, but I still speak for the trees!” The video will be released on Thursday, April 16th, 2015 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvo0ndNvplI.
BALANCE and the Earth Guardians global youth network are partnering with the The Master Shift, Earth Day Network and Forest Nation to deepen and extend the impact of the Earth Day launch of One Billion Trees.
With the growing climate crisis, children and families are facing a world of increasing uncertainty:
- 88% of the existing global burden of disease due to climate change occurs in children under the age of five
- More than 600 million children live in the 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change
- Children everywhere are experiencing the growing impact of our changing climate – from droughts in the United States to changing rainy seasons in sub-Saharan Africa and an increasing number of cyclones in South East Asia
“Our Future is at stake because of our environmental and climate crises. By coming together and reforesting the Earth, we will insure a healthy planet for future generations,” says Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, 14 year old Youth Director of Earth Guardians.
Envisioned by The Master Shift executive director, Christine Segal, the One Billion Trees campaign builds upon the organization’s work producing global events that address common themes facing humanity. This year’s focus on planting gardens and trees as a climate solution is a timely message to world leaders as the UN prepares to meet in Paris this December for the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
“One Billion Trees inspires the global community to create the change we want to see in our communities. If humanity wants to have a future, we must come together, and develop creative and comprehensive solutions to climate change,” adds Aaron Ableman.