Twenty-five years ago, I lived in a fishing village, Tanji, on the coast of The Gambia. The village came alive before sunrise: if you got up early, you could see the brightly colored "pirogues" pushing out to sea, with six or seven brave young men sailing their precarious wooden dugout canoes. This was no mean feat. The Atlantic was unforgiving and sometimes treacherous.
I worked with the fishermen as part of a European Union fisheries project and, with time, we became friends. We spoke Mandinka, drank atyre, and shared our struggles and hopes. They told me how over the years catches had declined dramatically, forcing them to sail farther and farther out; how the trawlers were creeping closer to the shore, often mangling their fragile nets.
I am still surprised by how much climate change denial we come across.
Recently Connect4Climate ran the iChange competition, challenging students to present the climate challenge in a 30-second video. We received great responses from around the world and compiled a video with some of the best for MTV.Posting this on our YouTube channel quickly resulted in more than 7000 views, a hearty discussion, and this comment: “lol i havent even watched this video. but ive read some of the comments. global warming is a MYTH!“
What? Such outright denial! How can this be when the science is so overwhelming clear, when world leaders have shown their support for climate action, when reports left right and centre highlight the dire impacts of climate change, not least the World Bank’s own 4°C report?
I couldn’t let such comments go without responding.