Are all climate activists vegan hippies who spend their free time hugging trees?

There are many stereotypes about which kind of people cares about the climate, and it might fell their lives and interests are very different from our own. The truth is that in 2015, climate change has become such a huge issue, that people from all parts of the words, all backgrounds, jobs, ages and motivations are joining together and engaging with the issues of our environment. Admitted, a lot of vegan and vegetarian dishes are served in Paris during these two weeks, but the diversity of people joining COP21 as part of an active civil society is impressive.

We have met many interesting people during our stay, and we figured that it was about time to introduce you to some of them.



Rivonala Razafision

“Climate Change is a reality. We have to face it in our daily life, so we have to take care of ourselves and take care of our planet to save the climate.”

I’m a science journalist from Madagascar and I’m 29 years old. As a Science journalist I am used to cover events related to environment, climate change policies, research, technology and so on. My job has been supported by the French Government through the French media agency called CFA and it is attached to the French foreign ministry.

Environment is a big topic as far as my country is concerned. Madagascar has huge potential in terms of natural resources. However our resources are badly managed because of bad governors, bad social habits of the inhabitants, bad practices of politicians and oil exploitation done by international firms and so on.

The course of history needs the contribution of each of us. As far as me, as I am a PHD student in Sociology I’m now preparing a thesis to cast on the social dimensions about Climate Change in my country. That counts on my research project real I think. We contribute to thinking which today is much needed for the construction of our future.




Mélodia Semichon

“I think engaging and committing to the environment is something that is natural and therefore I feel that is natural for me to care about it.”

I’m Mélodia, I live in Paris and I am 27. I wouldn’t say that I qualify exactly as an activist but I am concerned about many topics relating to the environment and all that is connected to the Planet. I not only care about the Global environment but also my immediate environment which means family and friends and my inner environment which is my body and inner nature. I like topics related to health and eco food as well as education.

We are brainstorming now about what kind of alternative COP we could set up and actually it’s starts now and here and in Le Bourget they are working on ideas and plans they can set up regarding 20 years from now but I think that everything starts right now by improving our relationships to others and by improving our relationships to our relatives and to nature. It starts in our daily life. The course of History can only be changed if a mass of people one by one changes simple things in their lives.




Thorsten Wielsmann

“I feel very connected with Nature since childhood and I feel a bond with Nature. I feel the beauty of Nature all the time and I am thankful that I can serve the purpose of keeping Nature as beautiful as possible.”

I’m from Berlin, Germany and I’m 47 years old. I’m here with a network called “Share International” and we collaborate on the issue of Climate Change in relation to the spiritual background of Humanity and we bring about information on the cyclical change of consciousness in Humanity and how it is related to Climate Change. We are a network that promotes group meditation all over the world.

The Problem of Climate Change can only be tackled when Humanity starts to understand that only through justice and sharing — the sharing of the world’s resources — we will have peace. And only when we have peace can humanity collaborate as one on the topic of Climate Change. Without that, everybody is just following their own agenda and there will be no solution for Climate Change.





George Michael Bartenieff

“Politicians have nothing to do with what we are all disturbed about, they are just playing their power chess game.”

My name is George Batenieff and I come from New York. I run a theater, the Theater Three Collaborative, together with playwright Karen Malpede. We have been doing social justice plays for the last 20 years. We do plays on every theme possible: We have done a play on the American torture program, for instance, and three Anti-war plays. Here in Paris we are collaborating with a Swiss-French company who loved our play and made it possible for us to bring it to COP21.

I believe the environment needs our help! The entire world, every living being is in serious trouble. It has been an issue for me for the last 40 years and it what has been going on has disturbed me – ignorance, covering up and all kinds of terrible things. For me, these people are criminals. Every single social justice issue is part of the environmental issue. At the same time, this has the potential of bringing us all together. Everybody has to get involved. We need grassroots projects, civil action and creative invention because we can´t wait for the politicians.


Text by: Marie Sakina Chaudhri



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