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  • [applause]

  • Hello, I'm Severn Suzuki speaking for ECO, the Environmental Children's Organization.

  • We are a group of 12 and 13 year olds trying to make a difference.

  • Vanessa Suttie, Morgan Geisler, Michelle Quigg, and me.

  • We've raised all the money to come here ourselves, to come 5 thousand miles to tell you adults,

  • you must change your ways.

  • Coming up here today, I have no hidden agenda, I am fighting for my future.

  • Losing my 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 who's cries go unheard.

  • I'm here to speak for the countless animals dying across this planet because they have

  • nowhere left to go.

  • 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, my home, with my dad until just a few years ago we found the fish

  • full of cancers.

  • And now we hear of animals and plants going extinct everyday, vanishing forever.

  • In my life, I have dreamt of seeing the great herds of wild animals, jungles and rainforests full of

  • birds and butterflies, but now I wonder if they will even exist for my children to see.

  • Did you have to worry of these 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 know I want you to realize, neither do you.

  • You don't know how to fix the holes our the ozone layer,

  • you don't know how to bring the salmon back up in a dead stream,

  • you don't know how to bring back an animal now extinct,

  • and you can't bring back the forest that once grew where there is now a desert.

  • If you don't know how to fix it, please, stop breaking it.

  • Here, you may be delegates of your government, business people, organizers, reporters, or politicians,

  • but really, you are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, and all of you are someone's child.

  • I'm only a child, yet I know we are all part of a family 5 billion strong.

  • In fact, 30 million species strong.

  • And boarders 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.

  • In my anger, I am not blind, and in my fear, I am not afraid of telling the world how I feel.

  • In my country we make so much waste. We buy and throw away, 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 share. We are afraid to let go of some of our wealth.

  • In Canada, we live the privileged life, with plenty of food, water, and shelter.

  • We have watches, bicycles, computers, and television sets, the list could go on for 2 days.

  • 2 days ago, here in Brazil, we were shocked when we spent time with some children living on the streets.

  • 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, medicines, shelter, and love and affection."

  • If a child on the streets who has nothing is willing to share, why are we who have everything still so greedy?

  • I can't stop thinking that these are children my own age, that it makes a tremendous difference where you were born,

  • that I could be one of those children living in the Cavallos of Rio.

  • I could be a child starving in Somalia, or a victim of war in the Middle East, or a beggar in India.

  • I am only a child, yet I know if all the money spent on war was spent on finding

  • environmental answers, ending poverty, and finding treaties, what a wonderful place this Earth would be.

  • At school, even in Kindergarten, you teach us how 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?

  • Do not forget why you are attending these conferences, who you're doing this for.

  • We are your own children. You are deciding what kind of a world we are growing up in.

  • Parents should be able to comfort their children by saying "everything's going to be alright,

  • it's not the end of the world, and we're doing the best we can", but I don't think you can say that to us anymore.

  • Are we even on your list of priorities?

  • My dad always says, "you are what you do, not what you say", well, what you do makes me cry at night.

  • You grown ups say you love us, but I challenge you, please, make your actions reflect your words.

  • Thank you.

  • [applause]

  • [appluase]

  • That was very good.

  • I would like to thank you, the four of you, for your participation in this conference

  • and for reminding us that we are responsible for the world and for the future generations, and

  • also for reminding us that we are responsible not only for our words, but also for our actions.

  • I am keenly aware that what the four of you have said to us makes us all feel, to make a quote of a president poet,

  • that we all have 2 hands and the sentiment of the world, and I think this is what you have expressed.

[applause]

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A2 child afraid world suzuki ozone reminding

Severn Cullis-Suzuki at Rio Summit 1992

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    VoiceTube posted on 2013/05/24
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