Ghandi said that we should be the change we want to see in the world. Some of the things I’ve read recently makes me think that that the youth of today seems to be really taking up that challenge – new research by the EnviroMedia Social Marketing indicates young Americans, an estimated audience of 76 million people, “will power the new green economy and are the key to future economic growth.”
More than any other age group, they say, 18- to 34-year-olds believe global warming is caused by human activities. Additionally, the research indicates Americans who believe in this connection are almost twice as likely to buy more green products in this economy than Americans who believe it occurs naturally. And the same study says that 82% of Americans indicate they’re still buying green products despite changes in the economy.
But what I got really excited about was to read about the Indian Climate Solutions Project. This group believes that there are many homemade solutions being tried all around India – the missing link is communication so we can all learn from each other and not have to reinvent the wheel. As they say:
In India, a nation of creativity, diversity and dynamism, inspirational climate solutions already exist in pockets, demonstrating significant co-benefits for the economic, social and environmental welfare of the country. They are however poorly documented, analysed and communicated in general. To avoid a replication of efforts, and to convince governments, businesses and communities to take action, these success stories need to be shared widely. India is a nation open to new ideas, with a strong intelligence, deep spirituality and profound respect for the natural world. As such, we, the Indian youth, believe that India can take a leadership role on climate change, for its own welfare and security as well as for that of the world as a whole.”
The India Climate Solution Project recently completed an epic five week electric car journey across India, aimed at launching a movement for climate action across India, reached its final destination, New Delhi, on February 4, 2009, though the work is continuing to document and spread solutions and a message of hope and change. The Indian Youth Climate Network team reached Delhi having covered 3500 ’low-carbon’ kilometers in three solar-powered Revas and a fleet of alternative vehicles.
The trip, which has passed through 15 major Indian cities, was undertaken in a caravan of alternatively fuelled vehicles including three market ready solar-integrated Reva electric cars, a plant oil powered truck, a van running on spent vegetable oil, and a car with solar panels on the roof to power the team’s equipment.
The team has documented ground breaking climate solutions, across every sector and many states, which they plan to share and scale up to be the start of a solutions-oriented movement for transformative change. The team has charged at petrol pumps during diesel strikes, visited tribal girls’ hostels where the kitchen runs on solar energy, worked with villagers making compost and biogas, found effective waste management strategies in Mumbai, and made dozens of short films about these solutions along the way.
From 90 year old women who have never left their village to international school children in Mumbai and Hyderabad and from respected NGOs to CEOs spreading their Indian innovations all over the world, the team has met with dozens of climate leaders who have shared their climate solutions! (See more about the solutions they found along the way on their web site, http://www.indiaclimatesolutions.com.).