Various aspects of climate change, or climate crisis, as people have taken to calling it lately, make the headlines on a near-daily basis these days. And we’re not complaining, though it can lead to an effect called news fatigue, where people avoid reading about a certain topic or even the news altogether, due to being overwhelmed by an over-abundance of say, bad news around the world.
If that’s you, head down to Hong Lim Park tomorrow afternoon to attend SG Climate Rally, Singapore’s first physical event dedicated to educating anyone who might even be remotely interested in doing their part for the environment.
Organised by a group of 15 students based in local universities, SG Climate Rally was inspired by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist who kickstarted the global Fridays For Future movement, where millions of young people skip class or work on Fridays to demand more (effective) action from policy makers to prevent further global warming and climate change.
It’s not just avoiding plastic straws at SG Climate Rally – here, they regularly post graphics and simple, easy-to-grasp infographics on topics such as fossil fuels, a non-renewable source of energy of which I’ve learnt that Singapore is highly dependent on (we get more than 95% of our electricity from there).
Sustainability and carbon neutrality are all hot topics these days. But if you stop to think about it, it creates a culture of blame on the part of consumers. What of big corporations and governments, both of which wield the power to effect change on a larger scale? As the organisers point out on their Facebook page, “while the existing efforts to address the climate crisis are laudable, these campaigns have merely re-directed the issue of combating the climate crisis towards the individual; deflecting accountability from other players and institutions who have more influence.”
On that note, the organisers have also put together a more comprehensive manifesto that calls on the government for several actions, some of which include divesting the country from polluting industries such as deforestation and fossil fuels and to make the study of environmental sciences a compulsory subject at school. It’s ambitious to be sure, but hey, if we don’t dream big, everyone’s just going to sit around, twiddle their thumbs and make sympathetic, but largely ineffective gestures over social media, right? You can read the manifesto here.
Things to expect at the rally include face-painting and postcard-writing sessions, a diverse range of speakers including an 11-year-old student (if an 11-year-old can be a speaker, you could at least show your support by attending), a die-in (a form of protest where participants simulate being dead), before concluding with a solidarity picnic that all are welcome to join.
Other things to note: the organisers are calling for attendees to wear N95 masks in lieu of the ongoing haze as the rally will be taking place in an outdoor space, as well as to bring along identification cards, as all public events at Hong Lim Park are open to locals or permanent residents only. Call us superficial but we’d also suggest slathering on the sunscreen while you’re at it.
SG Climate Rally will take place tomorrow, Sept 21, 3pm – 6pm at Hong Lim Park. Cover image: Singer Inch Chua, featured in Female’s September 2018 issue.