Whose crisis?

“Whose Crisis” is my humble ode to the climate change conversations we wake up to. From overwhelming jargon to fear-mongering, blaming-shaming to gloom and doom, mainstream media narratives on the climate crisis is a unique crisis in itself. With the help of art and words, I’ve attempted to capture snippets from the everyday crisis of human lives (in most developing countries) and place them against the backdrop of some climate communications we often hear. I hope this leaves you with two things – Clear contradictions  and the exclusionary language being used to ask “The very problem to solve the problem” 

Whose crisis?

Everyone’s talking about climate change. I guess I should too. They say it’s a massive and urgent crisis. Though some days it makes me wonder, a crisis for whom?

If the number of meals you can afford to eat today
count on the luck & whims of the employer who owns you
If you had to go home another day just like yesterday, with only bread for the children after a 17-hour workday

This may not be your crisis

If your home lies somewhere between one refugee camp to the next, the sky your roof
Barbed wires for walls
Some camper vans brought your kids dinner tonight

If your children see dreams that let them sleep no more
And play with the resurrected remains of toys buried under rubble and stone

This may not be your crisis

If you’re that one in 3 globally
braving the walk into a dark field every night
Navigating creatures and sometimes an unwelcome passerby
all just to relieve yourself once more

This may not be your crisis

If you’ve lived 60 years of life, feet on earth.
You speak the language of the trees and call the forest your home
You live and breathe the word “Mother Earth”
Our existential crisis is not worthy of that name anymore.

This may not be your crisis

If this is no one’s crisis, What is the crisis anymore?
Why does it make so much noise?
Is it even a conversation if there’s only a single voice?
Who does this crisis belong to after all?

Maybe it belongs inside the red tapes, the round tables and teleprompters in blindingly lit newsrooms

It must belong there, carefully stacked up in the “Science books” section of the library
Or hidden in the tiny spaces between bar graphs
In updated released the IPCC report

Maybe it belongs in the glass-clad geoengineering labs
Behind the doors of the debate rooms
In documentaries on dying polar bears
And wilting coral reefs

Or most probably in the solar sauna room
that vegan leather bag store
and the hot clubhouse discussion “Do humans really deserve survival anymore?”

I don’t know everything about climate change yet
But this one-sided, crisis conversation is not working anymore
It speaks a language, atone that sounds so unfamiliar and unknown
To the very people whose crisis go unseen
Ignored, often muffled by louder screams
The same people whose lives will be wounded the most
As the forecasts of today become reality tomorrow

Sara Asfiya Ali

With an academic background in the social sciences Sara is a fresh graduate, exploring a career in using effective design to facilitate community-driven social change. She’s been actively engaged in multiple social good projects in India starting from mental health to child education. If not working on a new community project, find her writing stories, trying a new soup recipe and taking walks outside.



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