“Your generation must come to terms with the environment,” Rachel Carson cautioned the world in her final years. “You must face realities instead of taking refuge in ignorance and evasion of truth.” Her warning was unheeded, if not downright defied.
Carson’s prescient words are even more relevant today than half a century ago. In Silent Spring’s final chapter she wrote: “The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy…but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road…offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of our earth.”
As part of its 2019 report Renewing Democracy in the Digital Age, the Berggruen Institute’s Future of Democracy program proposed the creation of a Youth Environment Service (YES) to create opportunities for young people to work together across differences to fight the climate crisis while also providing economic opportunities for a generation most impacted by COVID-19.
“Yours is a grave and sobering responsibility, but it is also a shining opportunity. You go out into a world where mankind is challenged, as it has never been challenged before, to prove its maturity and its mastery — not of nature, but of itself. Therein lies our hope and our destiny.”
Click here to find out more about the Youth Environmental Service.