“We have to change”. This was the bottom line of the message yesterday from President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, signalling World Environment Day.
Standing with the hundreds of thousands of young people who have started demonstrating throughout the country and the rest of the developed world, Marcelo said that in their names and the names of future generations, things simply cannot go on as they have been.
“It’s time, more than time, that we take urgent decisions”, he said, citing the need to cut down on everyday problems of ‘excessive household waste’, ‘dependence on non-renewable sources of energy’ , the ‘frenetic use of plastics’ and unsustainable use of water.
“We have to understand, once and for all, that in the fact of certain phenomena like climate change and global warming, the human species finds itself under threat.
“If we do nothing, if nothing changes, Humanity runs the risk of extinction. It’s a risk that presents itself on an ever advancing horizon.
“Changing lifestyles is urgent”.
Certainly decisions will need to come from politicians and business, said the president, but everyday citizens must also temper their ‘harmful habits’.
Starting his message, on his official website, with the words “there is no planet B”, the president saluted “in the name of Portugal” what he called “the extraordinary non-conformity” of the younger generations, saying he hopes “we all know it is time to follow their admirable example”.