old Severn Suzuki speaking at the UN Earth Summit (1992)
can use this video and script to enthuse your kids, their friends, other
people’s kids & adults too)
Severn Suzuki speaking for E.C.O. – The Environmental Children’s Organisation.
We are a
group of twelve and thirteen-year-olds from Canada trying to make a difference:
Vanessa Suttie, Morgan Geisler, Michelle Quigg
and me. We raised all the money ourselves to come six thousand miles to tell
you adults you must change your ways. Coming here today, I have no hidden
agenda. I am fighting for my future.
future is not like losing an election or a few points on the stock market. I am
here to speak for all generations to come.
I am here
to speak on behalf of the starving children around the world whose cries go
I am here
to speak for the countless animals dying across this planet because they have
nowhere left to go. We cannot afford to be not heard.
I am afraid
to go out in the sun now because of the holes in the ozone. I am afraid to
breathe the air because I don’t know what chemicals are in it.
I used to
go fishing in Vancouver with my dad until just a few years ago we found the
fish full of cancers. And now we hear about animals and plants going exinct
every day — vanishing forever.
In my life,
I have dreamt of seeing the great herds of wild animals, jungles and
rainforests full of birds and butterfilies, but now I wonder if they will even
exist for my children to see.
have to worry about these little things when you were my age?
All this is
happening before our eyes and yet we act as if we have all the time we want and
all the solutions. I’m only a child and I don’t have all the solutions, but I
want you to realise, neither do you!
* You don’t
know how to fix the holes in our ozone layer.
* You don’t know how to bring salmon back up a
* You don’t know how to bring back an animal
* And you can’t bring back forests that once
grew where there is now desert.
don’t know how to fix it, please stop breaking it!
may be delegates of your governments, business people, organisers, reporters or
poiticians – but really you are mothers and fathers, brothers and sister, aunts
and uncles – and all of you are somebody’s child.
I’m only a
child yet I know we are all part of a family, five billion strong, in fact, 30
million species strong and we all share the same air, water and soil — borders
and governments will never change that.
I’m only a
child yet I know we are all in this together and should act as one single world
towards one single goal.
anger, I am not blind, and in my fear, I am not afraid to tell the world how I
country, we make so much waste, we buy and throw away, buy and throw away, and
yet northern countries will not share with the needy. Even when we have more
than enough, we are afraid to lose some of our wealth, afraid to share.
we live the privileged life, with plenty of food, water and shelter — we have
watches, bicycles, computers and television sets.
Two days ago
here in Brazil, we were shocked when we spent some time with some children
living on the streets. And this is what one child told us: "I wish I was rich
and if I were, I would give all the street children food, clothes, medicine,
shelter and love and affection.”
If a child
on the street who has nothing, is willing to share, why are we who have
everyting still so greedy?
stop thinking that these children are my age, that it makes a tremendous
difference where you are born, that I could be one of those children living in
the Favellas of Rio; I could be a child starving in Somalia; a victim of war in
the Middle East or a beggar in India.
I’m only a
child yet I know if all the money spent on war was spent on ending poverty and
finding environmental answers, what a wonderful place this earth would be!
even in kindergarten, you teach us to behave in the world. You teach us:
* not to
fight with others,
* to work things out,
* to respect others,
* to clean up our mess,
* not to hurt other creatures
* to share – not be greedy.
Then why do
you go out and do the things you tell us not to do?
forget why you’re attending these conferences, who you’re doing this for — we
are your own children. You are deciding what kind of world we will grow up in.
Parents should be able to comfort their children by saying "everyting’s going
to be alright” , "we’re doing the best we can” and "it’s not the end of the
But I don’t
think you can say that to us anymore. Are we even on your list of priorities?
My father always says "You are what you do, not what you say.”
you do makes me cry at night. You grown ups say you love us. I challenge you,
please make your actions reflect your words. Thank you for listening.