The increasingly hostile climate predicted by scientists — rising seas, crippling droughts, ever-stronger super storms — is the looming nightmare that drives a contingent of young environmental activists that has been seeking to make a mark on U.N. climate talks.
The largely 20-somethings agitating for urgent collective action to curb global warming account for a few hundred at best of the 12,500 people accredited to attend the Lima negotiations.
They include activists, journalists for green news media and UN workers and they are passionate about swaying government negotiators. It is their generation, after all, that will bear the burden of a runaway climate.
The Lima talks are supposed to lay the groundwork for a global climate pact in Paris next year. But they have disappointed most young activists, who want faster progress.
Jim Shultz, 57, a lifelong political activist who runs the left-leaning Democracy Center nonprofit from Bolivia, compared the impact of climate change on the young to that of the Vietnam war on an earlier generation.
"You and I are going to be in the ground when the science fiction stuff starts happening," said Shultz, a Californian. "They are going to be raising their kids."