It starts early: with that very first miraculous smile.
When my son was born 10 months ago now, I began to wonder when that first of many smiles will appear across his face. First it was unconscious… however, very soon that conscious smile conveyed so much: trust, security, learning and – perhaps most importantly – unencumbered happiness.
Nicolas’ happiness comes from the simplest of things – some of which are found all around us in the treasure that is the natural world.
For him, it’s the lightening flight of a flock of birds in the sky, the feeling of fresh air as we take him outside for his daily walk, experiencing animals up close, enjoying the wonder of water, and all the other treasures of this beautiful earth. As we seek happiness for our children and of course for ourselves too, we must safeguard the sources of such true happiness.
Climate change threatens the very things that make us happy, particularly for our children. Their lives will be most affected by the changes this planet is and will undergo. What kind of planet do we want to leave for our children?
As I hold my son in my arms, I inevitably think about what I can do to make his world a better place. The future is uncertain – and perhaps scary – but we can take steps now which will increase the chances that many of the things we take for granted today will still be around in the future.
We can no longer pass the task on to subsequent generations. The future generation is this one and we need to safeguard the planet for them, starting today.
Perhaps the most powerful thing we can all do at this very moment is to inspire our world leaders to get back on track and do the right thing. We have an opportunity to do that on 21 September – a day when thousands of people across the world will be marching for the climate, including in London. For Nicolas and his generation, we must seize this moment to tackle the biggest environmental threat of our time.
But this is not a doom and gloom story: it is a story of hope, duty, and pure happiness.
As for you, Nicolas, my happy boy, I will keep fighting to keep you smiling.