Why Not Now? (Youth Climate Summit 2020)

A performance piece inspired by young people for the Youth Climate Summit 2020. Written, performed and produced by Kit Rackley.

The poem will feature in the Summit’s Friday morning’s inspiration session (13th Nov, 8:30). It is not too late to take part in the Summit! Check out https://www.transform-our-world.org/whats-on for the schedule and to sign up for sessions.

Watch the performance below, and click on the links embedded in the lyrics underneath to explore case-studies of positive climate action by young people.

There are more grains of sand on this Earth
Than stars in our Milky Way
Or so they say
So while we can dream and gaze above
Let’s ground ourselves
Feel the earth, hear the ocean sway
In our minds, we can dance amongst the heavens
But it is here we touch, feel and breathe
Where we’re bound to play

And play we should; play we must
For that gives us joy in life
Joy brings us together
The urge to be young at heart in soul, body and mind
So let’s heed the youth we have 
They are here, they are now
See them. Hear them.
Bring them the shining future they are trying to find

Prospective leaders to transform our world?
Yes.
No deed done by them is a deed too small
As they are leading today
Theirs is a Bright Green Future
Self-driven, organised by youth
Because there “is no Planet-B”
They rightly declare each Friday
The young and their allies know what’s a stake
This is a climate emergency

And to you, young warriors
There’s no need to look up to the stars
Because they are here
They are right next to you
They are you
With supernova energy
You’re an eco-committee which talks, plans and do
Declaring resolutely in school assemblies
“Be gone, single use plastic!
Our time with you is through!”

And you’re doing it in style
With art, creativity and skill

Fashionably so!
COVID? Pfft! You’ll see this out
Rocking a school tie mask
Catching those airborne bugs mid-flow

And looking fierce needn’t cost the earth
Patch up and bling those old jeans
For Mother Nature’s fashion show

Childsplay
This is how it should be
A game of how many trees can you plant
A race to twenty-five or forty
Saplings to be nurtured
In fields of shrubs and glorious mud
A school need not be contained within walls
Break down barriers, connect with nature
And it’s play-ground of plenty

From forty trees to forty acres
Or for all your effort just one

It’s enough
Together? What about three-hundred?
Farmers, landowners, conservationists
Will partner with you on a Brecon Beacon’s bluff
Just faith and trust is all it takes
Follow in their footsteps, set off a chain reaction
And restore nature away from the rough

Get inventing! 
Put that child’s imagination to use
Science, Tech, Engineering and Math
A high-tech composter?
A solar-powered go-kart?
STEM is not just for boys y’know

Think that and you’re having a laugh!

See we need more plant-based solutions
From veg-ware storage, packaging
To eating less meat
Try veganism one-day a week
Get it on that school menu
You’ll be pleasantly surprised
How it can be a tasty treat
No more sibling rivalry at the dinner table

When a hearty meal makes the soul complete

Dear young people
You’re the soul of the community and so
Become the centre of it too
Join, lead, run an event
Pick up litter, clean that river
Set that example where elders may have failed you
Create news and spread the word!
So others can follow what you do

You are Greta
You are Mya-Rose
You are Scarlett
You are Theo, Ella, Hannah, Max, Lina… 
Be proud! Be fierce!
Hold our generation to account
It’s your time we are running foul
From those in power
Pulling the strings of privilege 
Demand change and ask
Why not now
(Shout-outs: Why not now)

We can do this. Let’s get started.
Why not now.

– Kit Rackley (c) 2020


Contributors, permissions & acknowledgements:

Thanks to all the Youth Climate Summit 2020 Ambassadors who contributed their success stories and pictures: Chara, Tian, Anya, Nyasha, Hana S, Maezie, Erko, Izzy, Alexandra, Liberty, Chloe, Hannah W, Ella, Jack, Alina, Max & Lina. Without them, there wouldn’t have been a poem! Special thanks to Ella, Hannah W, Max, Lina, Tian, Alina, Alexandra, Maezie & Andra whose profile footage appeared in the video.

Thanks to the BBC, Bright Green Future, Science teacher Patrick Kirwan and Action For Conservation (Penpont Project) for permission to use their videos.

Special thanks to the Rackley-Temple, Roberts & Dolling Families, Fox Wood Forest School (Diss, Norfolk) and Scarlett Westbrook for permissions and consent for inclusion.

Royalty-free music: “Memories” by Bensound. Check out Bensound.com for more royalty-free and licenced melodies.

All other video footage are royalty-free and creative commons sourced from Pexels.com

And finally, thank you to all the organisers and supporters of Transform Our World’s Youth Climate Summit 2020 for all their hard work and support, especially Hannah Boughton, Jess Tipton and the ‘Sustainable Futures’ working group.


Thank you! All my education work via the Geogramblings’ “Life Geographic” blog is done all in my spare time, at my own cost but is free for you to access and enjoy. If you can spare a few pence, I’d be delighted if you could show your thanks by ‘buying me a coffee.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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