New Zealand student speaks out

| September 11, 2012 | 0 Comments

Seventeen-year-old New Zealander Brittany Trilford, a student at Wellington’s Queen Margaret College, was selected to address world leaders at the Rio +20 Earth Summit held in June 2012.

Trilford entered – and won – a video speech contest called Date with History, organised by non-profit alliance TckTckTck. Trilford answered the question: if you had two minutes to tell leaders what kind of future you want, what would you say? In her entry, Trilford decried education systems that “batch children… until they emerge beautifully standardised”, saying that “education should be a transformative process”. Trilford also said, “I’ve noticed that we use too many resources to serve our endless consumption needs, we continue to use dirty technologies instead of investing in cleaner ones and we don’t respect the planet’s limits. We can no longer continue to ‘take-make-waste’, as Severn Suzuki said in 1992. We need to embrace systems that work as a cycle. In nature all processes are cycles, where the waste from one ‘phase’ is food for another. Rapid implementation of closed-loop technologies might be one of the fastest ways we can help to slow the path to irreversible temperature rise and to conserve our precious resources.”

Making the most of the opportunity, Trilford asked delegates at the United Nations summit in Rio de Janeiro whether they were “there to save face, or to save the human race”. “I stand here with fire in my heart. You and your governments promised to reduce poverty and sustain our environment… I start the clock now… tck tck tck,” said Trilford.

Category: Spring 2012

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