On Friday the 27th, there was a big Climate march in The Hague, The Netherlands. Although I am not a big fan of crowds, I felt like I had to go, because it was simply the least I could do.
A little bit of background info on the climate- and energy agenda in the Netherlands. The Dutch state will not reach its climate- and energy targets for 2020. And the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent compared to 1990 by next year, is far out of reach. The prime ministers view on this is that ‘they already do so much’, but clearly it’s not enough. (Side note, I know this is a pessimistic summary, but these are the facts). It frustrates me so much that all they can focus on, still, is economic growth. It makes me angry, because they don’t have to deal with the consequences, because there is quite the chance they will be dead by then. The young generation has to fix their mistakes and the longer the government takes hitting the set targets, the more ‘we’ have to do later on. It sometimes makes me feel hopeless about climate change and the consequences and harm it will bring. So that’s why I felt I had to go to the climate march: to try to get the government in action to get a more ambitious climate policy. But enough of me ranting.
How was the march? First of all, it was busy! Even going there all the trains were packed. Which I normally hate, but seeing everyone ready with their signs made me hopeful. I felt connected to everyone for chasing the same goal. There were also a lot more people than expected, it’s estimated 35.000 people participated. Which for the Netherlands, is quite something.
Secondly, it was a good experience. It was the first time I participated in a strike and it felt good to take some action. Although it’s limited of course to what you can accomplish, but like I said it also felt it was the least I could do. I was very happy a colleague wanted to join. Being in a crowd like that makes me queasy and it was fun to do together. A definite bonus: we learned some nice new chants which are still stuck in my head! What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!
In the end it was a nice, but exhausting day, although we only spent two hours in The Hague. It reminds me that I should keep doing new things, although they make me feel uncomfortable. It feels good to stick my neck out for things I stand for.