Voices Of Youth

'Greenie' label trivialises climate change cause

I was disheartened to see the word "greenies" used in media coverage of the Singapore Climate Rally on Sept 21.

"Greenies" is a term that is often used pejoratively to refer to environmentalists.

Calling those who were present at the rally to demand a cleaner and safer environment for both themselves and future generations "greenies" inadvertently trivialises the cause. It also frames climate change and concern over the environment as a niche issue, one which only those with an interest in the environment care about.

It is not and should not be such because climate change is both a pressing global issue and one that is deeply intertwined with other spheres of our daily lives: Economic development, healthcare and food security all depend on the state of our planet.

It is squarely within Singapore's interest to address climate change, especially on a systemic level.

We need to think about environmental concerns differently and see them as a staple of public and social policy.

I hope the first Singapore Climate Rally is a step towards greater national engagement on the issue of climate change, both on the level of individuals as well as institutions and the Government.

Sarah Ang, 20

Year 2 undergraduate

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2019, with the headline 'Greenie' label trivialises climate change cause. Subscribe