‘Hummingbird: Aren’t you a fool?’

Marie-Amelie Brun met and interviewed four young climate activists for our new YouTube channel METAmeets. Here, she reflects how they reminded her of one of her favourite stories.*

Watching teenagers taking to the streets and demanding action has been inspiring. I wanted to interview some of the young people who have been leading the way and filling me with hope for more than a year.

I was amazed by how professional, serious and committed they all were about changing things. While not everyone can cross the Atlantic by boat or become a UN delegate, we can all smile, cheer and support the ones who do, because they represent us and our future. 

Listening to young people and seeing them come out on the streets underlines our conviction that, collectively, we can make a difference.

From the outside, little differentiates Anuna, Monika, Nathan and Timothée from other people their age, but for the last year, they’ve been part of a movement that has changed European politics forever. 

It was an unorthodox introduction as I greeted Anuna with the words: “Last year was insane.”

She answered, laughing: “Yes, it really was.”

Behind her smiles and positivity lies a true belief in the cause she is defending, and the conviction that youth actions have the weight to change the system. 

From Nathan, who is involved in various NGOs, to Timothée who started a petition for fair taxes on aviation fuel, we see the will they deploy to act for a better future. But we also see the gap between what they are demanding and what politicians are delivering. 

Out of the four people I interviewed, UN youth delegate Monika is probably closest to the decision-making process. She admits that it can be discouraging to watch endless discussion about such a pressing subject.  

Anuna, Monika, Nathan and Timothée and thousands of others know: We can and must all do our part and we need fellow citizens, civil society, companies and governments to join us. And when we unite, we have every reason to believe in a better future for people and nature. 

* One day there was a gigantic fire in the forest. All the animals were terrified and dismayed as they watched the fire. All apart from the little hummingbird. He went back and forth from the river with tiny drops of water in his beak, and threw them on the fire. A cynical armadillo shouts: “Hummingbird, aren’t you a fool? You can’t put out the fire with drops of water! To which the hummingbird answers: “I know, but I am doing my part.”

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