The Intergenerational Call

Today we’re sharing something a bit different – a poem by Hazim Azghari, which he performed at COP22. The piece is a dialogue between us today and the children of the future. It illustrates the concept of intergenerational justice and the 1.5 degree climate target, without which the earth will not be liveable.

shadows of children and adults against green grass

Fulfilling the Paris Agreement goals: “Act now, and the world won’t burn” (Public Domain)

The Intergenerational Call
by Hazim Azghari

One point five
Half a degree Celsius
Yet it can save us
From a huge strife

[Us Talking to Each Other]

See, even if it’s about shooting an arrow, far away
It is not about the work of tomorrow, but today
I say so and I think hey,
We can make a difference!
Act with a bit of wit, and intelligence?
What if our children in all innocence
Turn to us and ask: why?

[Child Asking]

Why did you lie
And talk about using paper
And not plastic,
Sustainable development
When you were not able
To develop a better ethic
for the environment?
Did you feel as bad as
The fish, the fauna
Did you feel it as they felt it
As you turned it all into a sauna
How could you even sleep?
Temperature creeps
And you still acted like a prima donna
Yes, I know it was hard to collaborate
But don’t give me excuses, don’t elaborate
You flooded our dictionaries with terms
“Intergenerational”, as if we’re just germs
And a whole alphabet porridge
CBDR? Yes, responsibility is as different as we are
But it’s not just about the poor and the rich
It’s also about love, that emotion, magic
And not committing crimes
Just like a wise man said many times
“Justice is what love looks like in public”

One point five
Half a degree of warming
That or we might be heading
To our own demise
I hear this call and I think,
When we get asked this, because we will
At least we can say we had the political will
But the outcome was otherwise
‘Cause our models were inaccurate, not precise!
The banks got desperate, the finance got jeopardized!
At least we could blame it on fate, lack of precision, or money
Not to say that we should
But not lack of faith, delusion or something funny

One point five
Half a degree
That can save you and me
And next generations too
Did you realize?

[Children Coming]

We now travel in time
Walking across the coastline
Or what is now called the deep sea
‘Cause we heard about the IPCC
The United Nations, and their triple Cs
And we heard you gathered researchers
Businesses, and people from policy
So please remember
As you consult with each other
That if our genetic intelligence
Cannot make us love yet
Those not in existence
Then let us not just aim to get
A world safe to drive
But also safe to conceive, be human, and thrive?
So that when one thinks of offspring
One does not think of carbon burdens
But rather songs to sing
Family, and beautiful gardens

One point five
A fact that all should learn
The fire of love shouldn’t melt the ice
Act now, and the world won’t burn


You can also see this piece performed live.

Hazim Azghari, graduate of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, teaches local groups in Morocco local food security and empowerment through sustainable low-tech, particularly within the framework of climate adaptation. He has particular appreciation for slam poetry as a vector for calling to action and has performed this piece at COP22 and the 1.5 degree conference organized in Oxford, UK in 2016.


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