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Peace Child – Creating the Future we Want – 2013

Peace Child 2050 : Creating the Future we Want

by  David Woollcombe

Songs & Lyrics by David Gordon                             Based on The Peace Book by Bernard Benson

The Script of the Geneva Performance at the United Nations Grande Salle is available as a PDF – illustrated with photographs of the live performance at the top of every page. A full Video of this show is also available – extracts from which are featured in many of the song videos linked to in this script.  Compare this script with the one actually performed and you will see how much a talented cast can improve a basic text and make it their own. This version is designed for producers to copy and adapt for their own casts – working through Lesson Plans linked to each scene which allow the young people of every cast explore the issues and come up with their own ideas and dialogue.  You can also check the Primary School Script designed for younger performers, and the most recent place-based script – which was updated in 2018 from this Geneva one.

Scene ONE 

Opening – Peace Day 2050

Before you start this scene, get your cast to review Lesson ONE:  Imagining the Future. Silence – Bare stage with tiered risers at the back – a note sounds and a spotlight splits the darkness Stage Right!  A young girl steps into the pool of light and sings:

Come into my joy!

A 2nd spotlight splits the darkness Stage Left and a young man steps into it singing:

Come into my pain!

They move together, singing:

Come – you be a friend of mine!

I’ll be the same!

SONG  ONE:  Come into my Joy / As I go through my years / Peace Day 

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Solo 1:             As I go through my years with many thousand tears

I never see my guiding light

The clouds in front of me won’t ever let me see

I’ve grown so weary of the night


Solo 2:             I’ve tried so many times to read between the lines

But the words keep turning round

And a thousand fears keep ringing in my ears

And I’m so weary of the sound –


Solo 1 & 2:     So give me Peace Enough,

Peace Enough, Peace Enough!

So give me peace enough, for peace of mind

Everything’s coming up sunshine! (x2)

Cast & Chorus enter at the back of the theatre, dancing down the aisles – the dance troupe enter on stage, dancing:

ALL                 Come into my joy.  Come into my pain.

Come you’ll be a friend of mine

I’ll be the same   X 2

Cast & Chorus fill the aisles, houselights full up. They stand to sing as the dance troupe perform a playful dance on stage:

(Majestic) Peace Day, Peace Day we all say

Happy world.  Happy Day.

Wear a leaf and show the way

Celebrating this peace day     (4 Bars)


Peace Day, Peace Day we all say

Happy world, holiday.

Wear a leaf and show the way

Celebrating this peace day.


Peace Day, Peace Day sing and dance

It will be a big romance

People of the world as one

Peace Day, Peace Day has begun.


Celebrations, jubilations,

Laughter, shouting , lots of fun

Singing, dancing, take your partner

Happiness for everyone


Peace enough for all mankind

Healthy body, happy mind

Faith and love the world as one

Peace Day.  Peace Day has begun


Come into my joy.  Come into my pain.

Come you’ll be a friend of mine

I’ll be the same   X 2


Come into my joy.  Come into my pain.

(slow)  Come you’ll be a friend of mine.

I’ll be the same.

Everyone is on stage at the end of the song – in a tableau. The tableau breaks and every one falls into the arms of their neighbour, greeting them saying:

ALL:             Happy Peace Day!  Happy Peace Day!!

Into this melee, from the back, comes the Story-teller(ST) – dressed in a long, flowing cape, carrying a large Storybook.  Suddenly, one of the little children notices her:

Child 1         Hey Look! It’s the Story-teller!

ALL(Severally)  Happy Peace Day, Story-teller!!

ST                 Happy Peace Day!  Happy Peace Day Everyone!! – so: how we all doing this bright Spring Morning?  Have we got ourselves the Future we want?

Youth 1         Sure have!

ALL(Severally)  Sure – we did it!  We’re good! Jamming… etc.

Youth 2        All ten billion of us!

Youth 3        Ten billion and growing!

Youth 4        Not much – population is pretty stable, isn’t it!

Youth 5        Except in Africa!  We just can’t help it – the girls are too pretty! (He tousles the hair of a beautiful African girl)

Child 2         But there are no hungry people any more, right?

Youth 6        Nowhere!

Youth 7        The last case of AIDS was cured ten years ago

Youth 8        No more AIDS, No more Polio,

Youth 4        No more malaria!

Youth 1:       And we’re done with fossil fuels, aren’t we? We licked global warming…

Youth 7:       Yeah – it costs over $1000 to fill the tank of one of those old-fashioned smoking car things…

Youth 2:       I don’t know any one who still has one, do you? (They shake their heads)

Youth 3:       And the acreage of Rain Forest grew for another year!

ST                 Water?

Youth 5        Still a huge problem!

Youth 1        Yeah – still over half the world live in fresh-water stressed areas.

Youth 8        But we’re working on it: the new organic de-salination plants are doing the business in Coastal areas….

Child 3         – and there’s peace now, isn’t there?

ST                 Absolutely!  The United Nations WORKS!

Youth 4:       And the UN Global Police force is the only one that’s got decent equipment.

Youth 1        Governments are broke!  None of them can afford armies any more.

Youth 6:       Yeah – but we get along pretty well without them, don’t we?

Youth 7        Especially now the UN can be trusted to protect every body!

ALL(Severally)  It’s cool! – Not a problem! / we love each other!

Youth 2        You know, just last week, Israel played Palestine in a World Cup qualifier and Palestine won – and the Israelis cheered because Palestine played so well.

Youth 3        The Independent State of Kashmir was the world’s fastest growing economy last year!

Youth 7        Indians and Pakistanis have made Srinagar the IT capital of the world!

ST                 That’s right – Peace!  Cooperation – that is our greatest achievement. That’s why we celebrate Peace Day every year – everywhere in the world. To remind ourselves of the story of how peace came to the world, and how important it is for all of us to be Peace Children, right? (She opens her Story-Book and looks at them)  So – are we ready?  You all know all the parts, don’t you? Great! So let’s choose ourselves a couple of Peace Children! – in the old way, right?

ALL              YES!  (They leap up and down in excitement. She calms them – the little children come round as the older ones kneel and close their eyes. The little children sing:)

ST                 On your knees – gather round. Let’s begin!

Song TWO:   If you close your eyes

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Now if you close your eyes – you can be what you want

And if you close your eyes – you can feel deep in your soul.


Don’t you see, it’s your destiny?

Don’t you see it was meant to be?


It’s happening everywhere

People waking up

Together facing a great new dawn

Reaching out for love


Do you believe in miracles?

Have faith in things unseen

Take a good look around you now

No! No it’s not a dream!


So open up your eyes and fly beyond the skies

And open up your mind – you can see beyond your dreams

Now open up your heart

And behold – a brand new World!!

During the song, the story-teller scatters leaves across the heads of the youth – two of which are golden. Those holding the golden leaves stand up – and move to the front of the stage, holding hands. At the end of the song, they turn and bow to the storyteller and all the youth EXIT – running off to get ready for the show.  

The Story-teller leads the little children back to her chair where they sit around her feet and listen as she starts the story:

ST:                Our story begins in the summer of 2009. The world was in the grip of controversy about Climate Change – Global Warming!  Millions were very concerned about it – especially young people. But in some countries, many politicians didn’t believe it was even happening.  We join some students in Northern California – who were making their opinions felt loudly on the streets:


Scene TWO

A Demonstration – California, USA 2009

Before you start this scene, get your cast to review Lesson TWO:  Our World is Dying Today  The Spotlight picks out a Polar Bear’s head poking around the door back stage. It disappears – the sound of chanting begins:

Call:              CLI   –   MATE –

Response:     –  ACT   –  ION

Call:              CLI   –   MATE –

Response:     –  ACTION NOW!!

Call:              CLI   –   MATE –

Response:     –  ACTION – NOW!  NOW!!  NOW!!!          (Music begins)

The Cast and Chorus come out carrying signs with Protest Slogans – “CLIMATE ACTION NOW” “LEARN DON’T BURN”  “BE ASTUTE – DON’T POLLUTE!”  etc. The main body of the cast and chorus process around the hall through the aisles – as the singers with some placards sing from the stage. (Each verse is split between two singers, first two lines solo – second two together – thus:)

Song THREE:          I want to live in a Wigwam 

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 I’d like to live in a wigwam

Yes I’d like to live in a wigwam

We’d like to live in a wigwam and
Dance round the totem pole

I’d like to live in an igloo
Yes, I’d like to live in an igloo
We’d like to live in an igloo and
Know that it wouldn’t melt!

I don’t want to live in a barracks
No – I don’t want to live in no barracks
No –  we don’t want to live in a barracks – NO!
And learn how to kill our friends

I want to live in a Free World
Yes – I want to live in a Clean World
Oh – we all want to live in a World with No Fear
A world that is powered by Love!

ALL       I’m glad I’m alive am I

I’m glad I’m alive am I
I’m glad I’m alive
I’m glad I’m alive
I’m glad I’m alive am I

We gotta make our world a paradise

We gotta make our world a paradise

We gotta make our world  – yes!

Make it paradise

We gotta make our world a paradise

Gotta get to heaven get a guide
We gotta get to heaven get a guide
We gotta get our heads up
Make a better world!
We gotta make a better world for all


Everyone ends up back on stage, staring at the Polar Bear who removes his head mask and speaks:

Youth           Guys – we’re screwed!  We’re dying – that’s what!  [He points at a screen erected behind him – where powerpoint charts are exhibited.] Look at us – population rocketing up; resources – fish, water, food, biodiversity, minerals – plummeting down!  It’s not sustainable! Humanity is heading for the precipice – and no one’s applying the brakes!  Politicians and big business are just happily stepping on the gas! And it’s Gas – good old petroleum – that’s going to push us over the edge. Now more than half the people in the US House of Representatives don’t believe that climate change is happening. They are certifiably INSANE! All they need to do is take a look at this: The Arctic Ice Cap in 1970 and as it is today: half the size!

Youth           Half by area: by volume it’s barely a quarter of what it was. We’re literally skating on thin ice up there.

Youth           And – when global warming really kicks in and all the ice is gone – there ain’t nothing we can do about it. We’re finished!

Song FOUR:   World

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Upload the images of environmental destruction available here – and project on a screen during the song

World – look at the way we are

Look at the things we do

Look at the words we say

Life! – look at the way we live

Look at the love we had

Look at the things we’ve made


Gone, gone are all those lovely days

Gone are all the peaceful ways

All that’s left is old and grey

And our world is fading

Our world is dying – today!


Can’t you see the tide is changing?

Don’t you know that truth is fading?

People coming out from under

Slowly rising to the thunder

Listen to the shouting people

Broken churches, broken steeple

There’s no one for them to follow

Every one’s a God tomorrow


Can’t you see the world is dying?

Repentant people all are crying

Law and order has been drowned

Chaos rules and has been crowned!


World – look at the way we are

Look at the things we do

Look at the games we play

Life! – look at the way we live

Look at the things we build

Look at the love we’ve killed


Gone, gone are all those lovely days

Gone are all the peaceful ways

All that’s left is old and grey

And our world is fading

Our world is dying – today!

Youth           The Capitalist Swine are destroying our world!!

The 2 x Peace Children selected in Scene ONE + 2 other Youths stand apart – sceptical:

Youth           What’s swine?

Youth           Pigs!

Youth           (declaiming) The Capitalist swine – driven by their greed and thirst for profits – are strangling the lifeblood of our planet….

Youth           How do pigs strangle?

Youth           With their trotters! (They laugh)

Youth           What are you laughing about?  It’s not funny – !

Youth           It is pretty funny, man!  You prancing around like a headless polar bear talking about the end of the world!  C’mon!  It’s a beautiful day!  We’re in California – the Sunshine State – how lucky are we?!

Youth           I told you gloom and doom wouldn’t work!

Youth           What else is there?  Do people want to commit suicide?

Youth           There’s so much else, man!  If all you look at is the politicians – of course!  You will be out-of-your-mind depressed. But look at the groundswell of love in humanity!  Look at the beauty – the ocean, the forest, the flowers, the smiles of people falling in love…

Youth           Not going to solve global warming!

Youth           ‘course it will!  It’s a problem! No doubt!  We’ve always had problems – we get over them!  C’mon man!  Believe!

Song FIVE:   I believe

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If the sun lost it’s shine – and the trees started to die!

I guess I’d still be full of hope – and yes, I know the reason why!

If the wind grew too old, and the seas started to dry

Yes I would still be full of love – don’t ask – don’t ask me why!


I still believe in God  –  I still believe in us His people!

And if you really want to know  –  I still believe in this His land


So don’t turn your head away – don’t give up on who you are

Just keep loving more each day – and the world will shine for you!

I guess it’s all in the mind – what you feel is what you see


So within your heart just sing these words

Come sing – come sing with me!


We believe in God

We believe in us His people!

And if you really want to know

We still believe in this His land


We believe in God

We believe in us His people!

And if you really want to know

I believe   –     Yes we believe

I believe   –     Yes we believe

We believe in this His land!

Youth           I don’t believe in your God! I don’t believe in people either: people are shitty, greedy little animals, piling up as much stuff and money as they can plunder so that they can feel better than the next guy! And the bastards in the oil and coal industries are the worst: they ignore all the evidence that says that climate change is happening – and pay scientists to say that it isn’t!

Youth           (shouting out!)  My Dad’s an oilman – and he’s a really nice guy!

Youth           He is!  How did you guys all get here?  If you drove, thank an oilman!

Youth           That’s not the point….

Youth           What is the point here? What is your solution? Why did you bring us all out here?

Youth           The point is – our government, your government….

Youth           I’m from China, so NOT my government!

Youth            – especially YOUR government!! But every governments is spending millions of dollars every day subsiding oil and coal energy when they should be taxing it to death to make it sooooo expensive that we all start buying renewable energy.

Youth           How much subsidy are we talking about ?

Youth           Give or take a trillion dollars every year…

Youth           A Trillion dollars?!

Youth 2        I didn’t know that

Youth 4        I’m not sure my Dad knows that?

Youth 1        So – what do you want us to do about it?

Youth 3        Sign the Petition!

Youth 1        You’re kidding me!

Youth 2        Is that all you’ve got!

Youth 5        (witheringly) A petition?!

Youth 4        There’s a big meeting about Climate Change coming up in December –

Youth 7        – in Copenhagen, right?

Youth 8        And we’ve got to get the US Government there – and pushing for ambitious targets!

Youth 3        It’s all about getting carbon concentration in the atmosphere down to below 350 parts per million….

Youth 4        And you think you can do all that with a Petition?!

Youth 2        It’s pathetic!

Youth 3        Look – if you’re so clever, why don’t you come up with some answers?!

Youth 1        We just might!

Youth 3        Be my guest!

Youth 4        Let’s get my Dad involved – he loves arguing about this stuff!

Youth 3        Go for it.

Youth 2        You mean it?

Youth 7        Of course he means it!  You don’t think we have all the answers, do you?!

Youth 1        I’m not sure that we do…

Youth 2        I’m sure as hell sure that we could do better than dancing bears and petitions….

Youth 3        How about you have a think about it and come along to our planning meeting next Wednesday evening?

Youth 4        Fine!  We’ll be there!

Youth 3        Look forward to it!

Youth 7        See you!                                                                                                      They EXIT

Before you continue, get your cast to review Lesson THREE – Solutions Central

Youth 1        Why would he let a bunch of bozos like us come up with a plan to help drive the change in Copenhagen?

Youth 2        We’re not bozos.

Youth 4        It’s a fun challenge!  Let’s think about it

Youth 1        What would Gandhi do!?

Youth 4        Non-violence, of course!

Youth 1        Yes – but “Non-violence is a dormant state. In the waking state, it’s called Love!”

Youth 4        Aaaah!

Youth 2        Did Gandhi say that?

Youth 1 & 4 Of course!

Youth 2        I didn’t know that. Cute!

Youth 4        Gandhi’s the best!

Youth 1        Second only to MLK!

Youth 2        Who?

Youth 4        Martin Luther King! Durgh!

Youth 2        Oh. Sorry. We’re getting some good role models here. We can do this, can’t we?

Youth           Of course!                                                                        They EXIT – BLACK OUT

Spotlight comes up on the Story-teller’s group.

Child 1         Were things very bad back then?

ST                 Very, very bad. For years, we had all just merrily lived our lives, using up all the food, and the animals, and the oil and the fishes – with no thought about what you, the children, would live on.

Child 2         How could you have been so selfish?

ST                 Because we didn’t know – most of us!

Child 3         But the leaders in Washington knew?

Child 4         The United Nations must have known….

ST                 They knew but – until the people forced them to act – they were powerless

Child 5         Why were people so greedy?!

ST                 That was the problem: Greed!  As our friend Mr Gandhi said: “The world had enough for everyone’s needs but not for their greed…”

Child 6         And they didn’t see that?

Child 7         How stupid were they!

ST                 Very, very stupid, I’m afraid. But look – they’re about to wake up!


Stopping the Traffic – California, USA 2009

The Story-teller stands & reads – and as she does so, the Youth come on and sit in front of the screen – which shows a massive traffic jam.

ST                 A beautiful October evening in San Francisco. Traffic streams north and south on the Golden Gate bridge – hordes of people crowd the walk ways moving to the centre to watch the sunset. Three cars in parallel northbound – three in parallel south bound – slow to a halt on each lane in the middle of the bridge. The Hordes of people whip out their banners and occupy the hardtop – shouting and protesting. A second group of protesters, who have climbed to the top of the towers, unfurl big banners demanding US Leadership in Copenhagen!”  Helicopters hover overhead – because of course the students have taken special care to be sure The Media knew exactly what was going to happen!

The Media emerge from the sides of the Hall – the First in a pork-pie hat with a Press Tag in it; a second carries a camera – a third carries an I-pad, a fourth a mini-cam; they hover balletically around the young people who sit with their banners:

Press 1        It’s a story! (he winks at the audience)

Press 2        Definitely bloggable….! (she winks at the audience)

Press 3        Feature Documentary! (he winks at the audience)

Press 4        Six figure syndication fees!! (she winks at the audience, tapping her camera)

Music Starts: the young protestors are surrounded by the media singing:

Song SIX:   I gotta Story

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It’s a story! – We really gotta story!

Front Page story! – definitely Headline news!

Press (individually – sing) – Who are you ?

– Where you from ?

– Were you paid ?

– Who’s the gang ?

– Where’s the power ?

– What’s the name ?

– Are you friends ?

Press (together – sing)       – What’s the game ?

– What’s the game ??!

– What’s the game ??!!

Pressman 1      Outta my way, guys!  That’s a great image you set up for us, kids! Congratulate your media department from me!

He elaborately sets up a camera and takes a photograph.  The rest dig out their cameras, singing:

Press (together – sing)

The Photograph, the Photograph

We’ve got to have the Photograph!

The photo!  The Photo!

We gotta have the photo!

They pause – there is a big flash – and the press hover as a  Policeman comes on looking at the kids sourly:

Policeman   Are you kids going to come nicely – or are we going to have to lift you into the waggons?

Youth 4      Our demands are very simple: we want an invitation from Cobra Windfry to debate the Copenhagen issues with senior representatives of the Oil and Coal industry – to show the nation that filling our freeways with oil-powered traffic is destroying our future!

Policeman   I don’t care about any of that shit! I’ve got six fire units, twenty-eight police corps – and eighteen mobile units out here – have you any idea how much that costs?!

Youth 1      Have you any idea how much it would cost to destroy the planet?

Youth 7      Climate change will cost our generation trillions of dollars. Right now it’s costing us several hundred million –every day!

Youth 8      Put that in your full-cost accounting and see what the people say come election day!

Policeman   You don’t care, do you? – just as long as you get your name in the papers and make your silly point.

Lian            It’s NOT a silly point!  It’s the point the world needs to hear!

Press 1        [coming on – folding a mobile phone] – and the world will hear!  Cobra Windfry has accepted your request to be on her show – and she has lined up senior executives from the Oil and Coal industry to debate you!

All Youth   Yes!! [They leap up and hi-five each other!]

Press 2        Recording 8 o’clock Thursday evening. Chicago. You know the place!

Youth 1      We know the place!

S T             We were on our way!  Pitting our wits againt the collective genius of the multi-trillion dollar fossil fuel industry. How crazy were we?!   We could have been eaten alive – and several of us thought we would be. But – if nothing else – we had won that massive dose of oxygen that all protesters crave: MEDIA!!!

Press (Running on, singing)

It’s a story! – we really gotta story!

Headline story! – Definitely front page news!

The Press rush down the aisles, selling their newspapers –

Extra, extra, read all about it!

Headlines Headlines no doubt about it!

Extra, extra – read all about it!

Headlines, Headlines – take it home and shout it!  (repeat x 2)

Front Page!

Build it high!

Say it Bold!

Reach the sky!

Make ’em shout!

Make ’em cry!



Scene FOUR

A TV Chat Show – California, USA 2009

Cobra Windfry sweeps on to tumultuous applause generated and energized by floor managers leaping up and down with “APPLAUSE” signs. She greets her adoring fans with appropriate disdain, and calls for hush. She then speaks to camera with her winning smile:

Cobra         Good evening – and welcome to a very special edition of my show where we bring to life the issues that the leaders of our world are going to be discussing in a few short weeks in Copenhagen, Denmark. Now Danish leaders have re-named their city “Hopenhagen” – because they hope that their Summit is going to deliver the legislative direction that will save the world from catastrophic climate change which some hysterical environmentalists think is destroying the future of the planet. But – most of us think that climate change is a load of hogwash – peddled by liberals who don’t know what they’re talking about.

Audience (Offstage) BOOOOOOO!!

Cobra         It’s true!  But – what do I know?!  Let’s get my guests on – and find out what’s really going on?!

The young people come on from one side – the Oil Men and Women in suits come on from the other. Cobra welcomes them both effusively:

Cobra         Will you welcome please, on my right hand, the distinguished representatives of the Oil and Coal industry – and, on my left, ( – no political angle intended!) [she winks!] the students of the San José Climate Coalition!  [Applause]  So – Tim!  Can you tell us what is going on in Copenhagen?

Tim             A pleasure to be back on the show, Cobra!  Thanks for having me!  Copenhagen is another one of these expensive United Nations pranks dreamed up by left-wing, proto-communist governments in Europe to prevent Americans like us making money in the way we have for centuries.

Youth         Bullshit!

Cobra         Mind your language, son!

Youth         I’m not your son!

Tim             May we?  – we’ve brought along a little presentation to give these kids a reality check!

Youth         We’re not kids either!

Cobra         Go ahead!

Song SEVEN:   Petroleum Energy Context

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It’s a petroleum energy complex

Get on and get trained – join this gravy train!

Get passionate about making money!

You’re all in a state! – the climate can wait!


You’re out of your depth in this jungle

Get into our game! – or you’ll take the blame –

When it ends up in a horrible shambles!

At least you’ll have fun – before your life is done!!


Oh – what a hopeless case you are!!

Your heads are in the clouds!

Oh – what a crazy lot you are!

Thinking should NOT be allowed!

Because – unless in your schools

You live by the rules

And do what you’re told

You’ll never win the gold!!!

You broke the generational contract!

Get back to your schools – start obeying those rules!

We’re out here trying to make you some money

Where the money all goes – Nobody knows!


Get back to your schools and get learning

If the money is made – you’ll make your grades!

Your mums and your dads and your teachers

Want success for you now – so don’t make a row!!


Oh – what a hopeless case you are!!

Your heads are in the clouds!

Oh – what a crazy lot you are!

Thinking should NOT be allowed!

Because – unless in your schools

You live by the rules

And do what you’re told

You’ll never win the gold!!!

Cobra         So – kids: Play by the rules?

Youth         No – because the rules are made by them!

Youth         Their rules are destroying the planet.

Youth         Can we talk about money?

Cobra         Sure!

Tim             The Trillion dollar subsidy you think we’re getting from government?

Cobra         Yes – what’s that all about?

Tim             Very simple, Cobra: it’s very little to do with us. More than half – almost two thirds of that subsidy is paid by developing country governments to help their poorest citizens to get their goods to market.

Oilman       And we hear that those governments wouldn’t last very long if they tried to cut it.

Youth         So – why is gasoline in America half the price it is in Europe?

Oilman       The power of the market, young lady: the US of A is the world’s largest oil market – so we have been able to negotiate the lowest possible price for the American people. You should thank us for that!

Cobra         And we do!  We do! Give them a round of applause for that! [The floor managers leap up and down and the audience dutifully applauds.]

Youth         [ironically]  So nice to have a wonderfully impartial host!

Cobra         [smugly] I know where my advertising dollars are coming from! And it’s not you guys!

Youth         That’s another big part of the problem, Cobra: here are we trying to lower people’s consumption, get them to use their cars less, buy less – and you have a $600-billion dollar a year advertising industry pestering all of us a million times a day to buy more, more, more!

Youth         How can we possibly succeed?

Cobra         Copenhagen? – if you could wave a magic wand, what would you like to see happen there?

Youth         Worldwide agreement to cut carbon emissions to pre-1990 levels.

Oilman       Fantasy!

Tim             Complete, pie in the sky dreamland.

Oilman       Won’t ever happen….

Youth         Well – it will have to happen some time, or we’ll lose trillions of dollars-worth of coastal real estate to sea-level rise –

Youth          – and billions of dollars annually to extreme weather damage.

Youth         Not to mention food and fresh-water losses

Youth         And ocean acidification.

Tim             You kids have no idea what you’re talking about!

Youth         I’m sorry, sir! We know exactly what we’re talking about

Youth         – and you don’t want to talk about it because you know that we’re right and that, slowly, the American people are waking up to the fact that your rules, your way of life, your profits are destroying our planet – and Our Future!

Youth         Look – can we stop talking about money for a moment.

Cobra         Go ahead!

Song EIGHT:   Listen to me!

SCORE                      VIDEO                                AUDIO                      INSTRUMENTAL

Please listen to me!  Heed the words that I say

We live in one world so our home is the same

The same sun is our fire,

The same clouds give us rain

So whatever you desire  –  our future’s the same


Say not that you’re Righteous – nor that you are true

Say not that I’m Red – or that you are blue!

Say only we are friends – and we want to live in Peace

In this here our world, let all wars cease!


For where would we go if this world we destroy?

We have but one home, this world, to enjoy!

The same earth fills our hunger, and we all breathe the air

So change your desires, this world we must share.


Say not that you’re rich, nor that you are poor

Say not that you’re less, nor that you are more!

Say only we are friends – and we want to live in Peace

In this here our world, let all wars cease!

In this here our world, let all wars cease!

Cobra          Cute – thank you

Youth          You see, Cobra, we didn’t come here to argue: he’s my Dad – and I want him to become part of the solution.

Tim             How do I become ‘part of the solution’?

Youth          All fossil fuels will: they are a finite resource.

Youth          By lobbying with us, in Washington, for a transition away from the Brown fossil-fuel Economy to the clean Green renewable Economy –

Youth          You can frack and mine tar sands from here to the North Pole – but one day, it’s all going to run out!

Youth          Get ahead of the game! Shift your business into non-carbon, renewable energy.

Cobra          What do you say to that Tim?

Tim             A few windmills pissing in the wind!? You’re kidding me, right?  I can make more money out of one day’s tar sands mining than a whole year of putting up windmills.

Youth          I don’t think that’s true: the Danish and German wind industries have consistently been posting higher returns on investment than comparable coal companies.

Tim             I’m not German or Danish: with the tax system we have in this great country – I can make more money mining oil than covering the scenery with hideous windmills.

Cobra          So – the problem is the tax system?

Youth          Exactly, Cobra!  Our government is so completely bought and paid for by the big corporations that these gentlemen represent, they cannot possibly do the right thing!

Youth          Unless, Dad, you come and help us! [The ‘Reinventing Fire’ Slide comes up on the screen behind.] Look at this line of human history – stretching from the year Nought to the year 3000: that little blip in the middle represents the extent of the fossil-fuel era: before that, all energy was renewable. After 2050, it will all have to be renewable again!  Our children and grand-children are not going to be able to keep the lights on unless people like you, Dad, come over to our side!

Youth          You see, sir – the Green Economy will create millions of jobs – will conserve the fisheries, improve agriculture, enrich communities, help eradicate poverty. And you can be a pioneer of that Green Economy – and be a hero.

Youth          Not a dinosaur…

Tim             And how exactly do I change from dinosaur to hero?

Youth 2:      Come to Congress! Sit down with the Energy Committee and work out a tax and subsidy regime that makes it more profitable to invest in the green economy than in the old, brown polluting economy.

Tim             You mean I should ask our Congressmen and women to impose taxes on my industry that will cost us billions and double the electricity bills of everyone who might vote for them?!

Youth          Yes sir! That’s precisely what we want you to do!

Cobra          You’re Mad!

Youth          No, Cobra! Extremely sane. If Tim had said a century ago:  “We’re not going to invest in roads and cars – because Railways are what we’ve always done…” – he’d be bankrupt. Same with energy: smart people are already investing in renewables – building windmills, investing in solar voltaics, ground source heat-pumps. That’s where the profits are going to be made this century. Coal is a dinosaur!

Youth          Dad: you have a baby daughter. Flossie!

Tim             Ah, Flossie – she’ll be the death of me!

Youth          No, sir!  You’ll be the death of Flossie unless you change what you’re doing here.

Tim             That’s not fair!

Oilman        – or True.

Youth          It is true, Dad – and you know it!

Youth          It’s like you’re putting a gun to her pretty little head and squeezing the trigger…

Youth          But – you don’t have to! Instead of being the bad guy in all this, you could be the Hero, leading the way to a bright, sustainable future!

Youth          Clean, sustainable energy – warming the homes of our nation for generations.

Youth          Bringing us prosperity we can live with – not profits that will kill us all.

Youth          Come on, sir. You can do it!

Tim             What can I say, Cobra?

Cobra          It’s emotional blackmail is what it is! How are you guys so certain? You’re just kids! I wasn’t that certain about anything when I was a kid.

Youth          This – Cobra: [The Arctic circle slides flash up on the screen] The Arctic ice-cap in 1970 – and the Arctic ice-cap now.

Youth          That’s not some ice-eating bug, munching away the Ice-cap. That’s global warming.

Youth          Climate change destroying our future!

Youth          Caused by people like you burning oil and gas and coal for profit.

Youth          We’ve got to stop them, Cobra!

Cobra          In Copenhagen, right?!

Tim             [firmly, decisively] You can’t – and you won’t!  Because even if I was able to persuade the folk down in Washington DC that you’re right, there’s no way we would persuade all governments to change. The Saudis, the Chinese, the Russians – never will. And unless we all do, none of us can! Believe me – I see where you’re coming from, and a big part of me admires you and wants to help you! ! But I can’t.  I know my share-holders – the big ones anyway, and they’d think I’d gone soft in the head if I start talking to them about transitioning to Green Energy. They’d sack me in a heartbeat – and then I’d be no use to you!

Cobra          Well that about wraps it up for this evening. I hope you’ve enjoyed this as much as I have! I’m tempted to give a points victory to the kids – because I think you touched the heart of our oilmen, didn’t they Tim!

Tim             They sure did.

Oilman        Well done, kids – and good luck!

Youth          Thank you sir.

Youth          Thanks for what?!

Youth          Thanks to Cobra – for letting us come on the show!

Cobra          It’s a pleasure!  And maybe we’ll have you back after Copenhagen to pick over what happens.

Youth          Watch us, Cobra: with American leadership – Hopenhagen is going to become Successinhagen!

Youth          The World is ready for solutions!

Youth          And we’re going to make them happen!

Cobra          Thank you and good night!                                                                      Black Out


Scene FIVE

Despairenhagen, December 2009

Before you start this scene, get your cast to review Lesson FOUR:  Recent History

Spotlight comes up on the Story-teller’s group.

Child 1       So – was Copenhagen the big turning point?

ST              Sadly not.

Child 3       It’s the meeting we all learn about….

ST              Yes – but it wasn’t a success.  I was there – and it was cold and miserable, and, in the second week, we were all shut out of the Conference Centre completely.

Child 4       You weren’t allowed to make your arguments

ST              Citizens never are allowed to make arguments at hi-level negotiations, or only very rarely! It’s only our elected, or non-elected, representatives. Instead – we went on demonstrations through the streets, waving flags – all the usual nonsense.

Child 2       So what actually happened.

ST              It was a disaster. Listen….

The second Spotlight picks out the face of one of the Youth – who reads a blog from the day:

Youth         Let me read you the verbatim report of an Englishman, Mark Lynas, who watched the Final negotiating session at the Copenhagen Summit:

“Heads of state from two dozen countries met behind closed doors. Obama was at the table for several hours, sitting between Gordon Brown and the Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi.  I was attached to one of the delegations and what I saw was profoundly shocking.

The Chinese premier, Wen Jinbao, did not deign to attend the meetings personally. Instead he sent a second-tier official to sit opposite Obama. The diplomatic snub was as obvious as it was brutal. So were the practical implications: several times during the session, the world’s most powerful heads of state were forced to wait around, twiddling their thumbs, as the Chinese delegate went off to make telephone calls to his “superiors”.  It was China’s representative who insisted that the target of an 80% cut by 2050 be taken out of the deal. “Why can’t we even mention our own targets?” demanded a furious Angela Merkel. “Why should rich countries not announce even this unilateral cut?” The Chinese delegate said no, and I watched, aghast, as Merkel threw up her hands in despair and conceded the point.

China then proceeded to take out all the numbers that mattered. The long-term target of 50% cuts by 2050, was excised as was the 2020 Peak Emissions Year commitment, essential to restrain temperature rise to below 2 degrees C. The Chinese also insisted on removing the 1.5C target so beloved of small island states. President Nasheed of the Maldives demanded: “How can you ask my country to go extinct?” The Chinese delegate feigned great offence – and the number stayed, but surrounded by language which makes it all but meaningless.

The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful “deal” while organizing it cleverly to ensure that Obama and the western leaders would walk away carrying the blame for the failure. Copenhagen was much worse than just another bad deal: it illustrates a profound shift in global geopolitics. China’s leadership has shown, not only that multilateral environmental governance is not a priority for them, but it is a hindrance to their new superpower’s freedom of action. I left Copenhagen more despondent than I have felt in a long time. After all the hope and all the hype, all the lobbying and the mobilization of thousands – millions! – our wave of optimism crashed against the cruel rocks of global power politics.”

On one side of stage, the young people gather – despondent; on the other side, the oilmen gather, rubbing their hands and hi-fiving each other in delight. 

Youth         I don’t know what to say

Youth         I feel crushed

Youth         [pointing at the Oilmen] Look at them! So happy!

Youth         They won. We lost….

Youth         What would Gandhi do now?!

Youth         If he had any sense, he’d go put a bullet in his head!!

Youth         We mustn’t give up

Youth         We must find out what really happened and move on

Youth         We all know what happened –

Youth         – and the truth is, there is absolutely NOTHING we can do about it.

But Tim, the oilman, is not as happy. He walks away from the group, staring into space, thinking: the youth separate themselves and spread across the stage as a girl sings:                                                                                                                                                                           

Song NINE:    I who am I

SCORE                      VIDEO                                AUDIO                      INSTRUMENTAL

I – who am I, what is this world,

Why am I here?

I – what am I, what is my cause,

What must I be?


Is there a reason for living

And having this place of our own

What power conceived me?

Abandoned me to the unknown?


We, who are we? What is this place?

Why are we here?

We, who are we to be so lost

And all alone?


Is there a reason for living

And having this place of our own

What power conceived me?

Abandoned me to the unknown?


I – who am I, what is this world,

Why am I here?

Fade to BLACK


Scene SIX

An Ending – California, USA 2009

Youth         Sorry to burst in – the door was open!

Youth         No – I was hoping you’d come round!

Youth         So – you’re really going back to China

Youth         My visa runs out tomorrow

Youth         We’re going to miss you

Youth         I’m going to miss you! I don’t know what am I going to do. Nothing makes sense any more!

Youth         Remember Prince Hamlet: “There is a divinity that shapes our ends rough hew them as we will….” Or, as John Lennon put it: “Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream…”  Have faith! Don’t think about it too much. I don’t believe that God has plans to wipe humanity off the face of the planet any time soon: she’s working things out!

Youth         My faith is pretty weak: I’d like to believe – but there’s so much crap going on, I can’t see that God’s doing a very good job right now. If he is sorting things out, why are young people going around blowing themselves up, killing innocent people. I hate that!

Youth         So do I –

Youth         – and I think that all this protest we’ve been doing – all this attack, attack, attack – hate, hate, hate! – It hasn’t gotten us anywhere.

Youth         You – you are the polar opposite of hate. When you’re fired up with protest – it’s love I see in your eyes. Love for us all!

Youth         Is it that obvious?

Youth         Of course it is! And it’s wonderful! It’s the only thing that matters.

Youth         Except that now it’s been crushed under the jackboot of the cruel failure in Copenhagen!

Youth         That’s a test! Your love will survive a million setbacks: love is the strongest power in the world. Remember, it is only because some one loved another that we’re here at all.

Youth         I hope that’s true!

Youth         I know it is –

Song TEN:    Love will teach you this

SCORE                      VIDEO                                AUDIO                      INSTRUMENTAL

Love, love will teach you this

Hold on to every smile and kiss

You never know how long it will last

Before your paths will have to part

And sorrow will overwhelm your soul

And you will feel no purpose to go on


Love, love has brought me this

Pain most often follows bliss

Emptiness when he’s not there

Ecstasy when he re-appears

And I am happy by his side

As I fall into his arms, Tears and smiles


Love, love will bring you this

Love, love will make you rich

A new beginning to your life there will be

A paradise before your eyes you will see

And there you will abide

For as long, as long as it will last

With a feeling that you have lived

                                 BLACK   OUT



New Beginnings

Spotlight comes up on the Story-teller’s group.        

Child 1       Was that it?

Child 6       That can’t be the end of the story?!

ST              ‘Course it wasn’t!  They’d only just begun –

Child 2       But it must have been very sad – all that work and money for nothing?

ST              It was very sad: people went into a Post-Copenhagen gloom for months. I know I did.

Child 3       But – you were young! There’s always tomorrow….

ST              Exactly. And we pulled ourselves out of it – but many governments, especially the rich ones, were damaged by Copenhagen. Never again would they trust the idea of multi-lateral diplomacy: because it hadn’t worked in Copenhagen, they didn’t feel it would work anywhere. And, in a way, they were right. Copenhagen was a death of hope. The birth of global realpolitiks.  But we were young – and we didn’t know about any of that. Watch –

The youth come scuttling on – one clutching an I-pad or I-phone:  

Youth         [severally]  What she say? – What she say?

Youth         She says we MUST all come to China: she’s got people we have to meet. She says that China’s Green Economy is the fastest growing in the world. “China is NOT the problem,” she says: “China is part of the solution!”

Youth         How we gonna get there?

Youth         Plane, durgh?!

Youth         Not very eco-friendly –

Youth         I guess we could take a sail-boat from San Francisco – but it would take us about 6 months!

Youth         Any one know how much we’ve got left in the SJCC account?

Youth         About a hundred grand!

Youth         That much?!

Youth         Amazing!  Cobra really put us on the map, din’t she?!

Youth         And our stunts in Copenhagen: failure for the governments. Big success for SJCC.

Youth         So – what you say we invest in a trip to China?!

Youth         Has to be our next step.

Youth         We can pitch it as part of our build-up to the Rio+20 Summit

Youth         The what?

Youth         You know – the UN’s next big party pushing Sustainable Development and the Green Economy!  It’s got to be better than Copenhagen, because it’s looking at Climate Change in the context of poverty eradication, peak oil and everything else that’s happening to our world.  With China onside at Rio+20 – we could be looking at serious breakthroughs!

Youth         Let’s go get them onside, then!

Youth         No – we have to do much more than that! We have to get a chain reaction going round the world of people young and old linking arms and demanding that their governments take action.

Youth         Just like we did in Copenhagen, huh!

Youth         It worked so well there, right?

Youth         Look!  Put Copenhagen behind us: you can’t go forward looking in the rearview mirror.

Youth         Young people have to create something new!

Youth         A chain reaction!

Youth         A peace train?

Youth         Yeah – if you like!

Youth         Go for it!



Beijing, People’s Republic of China – April 2012

Song ELEVEN:   Peace Train

SCORE                      VIDEO                                AUDIO                      INSTRUMENTAL

Now I’ve been happy lately

Thinking about the good things to come

And I believe it could be

Something good has begun

Oh, I’ve been smiling lately

Dreaming about the world as one

And I believe it could be

Some day it’s going to come

‘Cause out on the edge of darkness

There rides a peace train

Oh, peace train take this country

Come take me home again

Youth 2:      Welcome, my friends, to China!! – home to the fastest growing economy the world has ever seen, and home to some of the most amazing efforts to build a green economy….

Images on the screen of the Shanghai Skyline mix across to the Forbidden City to the Great Wall to massive freeways and Beijing Airport. Music evokes the culture of China.

Youth          It looks just like Manhattan – only cleaner!

Youth          And check out the motor scooters: are they electric!?

Youth          Sure – we’ve been running electric motor scooters for twenty years now: I cannot understand why they have not caught on in the west?

Youth          ‘Cos we like the deep-throated roar of the Harley-Davidson or the Ducatti!

Youth          China is building more Eco-Cities than anywhere else in the world!

Youth          And they’re all totally zero-carbon.

Youth          China believes deeply in green economy – we are building cheapest solar voltaic sheets and wind turbines in the world.

Youth         And our 5-year plan sees 100,000 electric cars on the roads by 2020 – more than the rest of the world put together.

Youth          But you’re still opening a new brown coal power station every week?

Youth          Every ten days now – and it will get less

Youth          A green economy must continue the work to eradicate poverty.

Youth          And we still have many millions poor people in West of China!

Youth          Is that why you scotched the agreement in Copenhagen?

Youth          Don’t mention Copenhagen!  Apparently, it was a real SNAFU!  Accentuate the positive – look to the future!

Youth          So – you’ll be at Rio+20?

Youth          Our government has high hopes of a breakthrough deal there.

Youth          So do we. So do we!

Youth          So you like our Eco-city??

Youth          One day – we have a million cities – zero-carbon like this one.

Youth          With vertical farms on every corner.

Youth          Sweet!

Youth          (dressed in an Arab Dish-dash)  Our’s is better! – More Cool!

Youth          Where are you from?

Youth:         Abu Dhabi: we have Masdar – the most advanced, zero carbon eco-city in the World.

Arab1:         Come see!  We have seats on our plane going back tonight…

Arab2:         Really! You will not believe your eyes –

Cast:            OK

Song ELEVEN:   Peace Train  (contd.)

SCORE                      VIDEO                                AUDIO                      INSTRUMENTAL

Oh, peace train sounding louder

Glide on the peace train

Come on the peace train

Yes, peace train holy roller
Everyone jump upon the peace train

Come on the peace train

Get your bags together

Go bring your good friends too

‘Cause it’s getting nearer

Soon it will be with you

Scene NINE

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – April 2012

Images on the screen of Masdar – and details of the Eco-City. Also – the beauty of the Gulf – the dhows, the mosques, and the great tall buildings. Music evokes classical Arabian culture.

Arab1:         Welcome to the United Arab Emirates – where East meets West and Peace shimmers like the pale blue seas of our Gulf!

Arab 2:        We know oil is running out – but we know we are rich in renewables…

Arab2:         So – we build Masdar

Arab1:         And, inside it, a new economy based on learning, finance, industry, trade

Arab2:         Less than 20% of Abu Dhabi’s economy is based on oil revenue now.

Arab1:         In Dubai, it is less than 5%.

Arab2:         So – we are building the Post-carbon Gulf State Economies right here.

Youth 1:      Impressive.

Youth 2:      But – I don’t see any farms?

Youth 3:      Where do you get your food?

Arab1:         We have some air-conditioned farms for cattle and chickens and some greenhouse market gardens here in Masdar – but most of our food is imported.

Arab2:         We have a scheme now to buy up land in the poorest parts of Africa and train the local people to produce food for us – and for themselves.

Arab 1:        A win-win situation, no?

Youth 2:      So – when do you expect to go totally zero carbon here in the Gulf?

Arab 1:        We reckon we will have marketable supplies for another 30 years; Saudi perhaps a few years longer. So – we intend to have zero carbon energy infrastructure in place by 2040 to 2050.

Youth          And then what?

Arab            Either 100% solar – or a little bit of nuclear!

Youth          Not nuclear!  PLEEEESE not nuclear?

Arab            Why not?  It’s a cool technology – and completely carbon free.

Youth          Come! – Come ride your Peace Train to my home! Come see why nuclear is the hand of death in the world.

Song ELEVEN:   Peace Train  (contd.)

SCORE                      VIDEO                                AUDIO                      INSTRUMENTAL

Now I’ve been crying lately

Thinking about the world as it is

Why must we go on hating

Why can’t we live in bliss

‘Cause out on the edge of darkness

There rides a peace train

Oh, peace train take this country

Come take me home again

Oh, peace train sounding louder

Glide on the peace train

Come on the peace train


Yes, peace train holy roller

Everyone jump upon the peace train

Come on, come on, come on

Yes, come on the peace train

Yes, it’s a peace train
Come on the peace train

Oh peace train


Scene TEN

Witness to Disaster – Chernobyl, Ukraine 2012

Song TWELVE:   Mwi zhelayem Schastya vam  /  We wish you to be happy now!

SCORE                      VIDEO                                AUDIO                      INSTRUMENTAL

Mwi zhelayem shastya vam

Shastya vetom meeryeh balshom

Kak sontse pa ootram

Poost anaw za khaw deet vdawm

Mwi zhelayem shastya vam

Ee anaw dolzhnaw bweet takeem

Kawg da twee shastleev sam

Shastya paw delee zdroo geem!

The Ukrainians and Belarussians welcome the young people with salt & bread + a song and dance in traditional costume. Nothing on the screen or backdrop – but darkness

Youth          Well – thank you very much!

Youth          We want you to be happy too!

Youth          Why are we here?

Youth          Because on the 26th April 1986, there was, at a place called Chernobyl, the worst nuclear accident the world has ever seen.

Fade up the famous image of the stricken reactor – follow with a slide show of the deserted forests; the abandoned buildings, the polluted pools of water and piles of tailings.

Youth          Chernobyl!

Youth          Yes – Chernobyl – the name means Black Fight – and the people who lived here have faced the blackest fight of any human beings alive.

Youth          How many people actually died here?

Youth          Nobody knows

Youth          They say that only 31 died directly from the accident, but estimates for the number of radiation-related deaths vary wildly from a few thousand to over a hundred thousand.

Youth          What we see is a 60km wide exclusion zone that human beings will not be able to occupy again for 20,000 years.

Youth          And a bill for $18 billion dollars that effectively bankrupted the Soviet Union and brought about the end of the Cold War.

Youth          So some good did come out of it then?

Youth          Very funny….  I tell you, it has never been very funny living here: the governments of Ukraine and Belarus are still paying for this mistake every year – millions of rubles!

Youth          So – please! No nuclear in your new energy vision.

Youth          It is too dangerous.

Youth          Not to be trusted!

Youth          Look at Fukishima!

Youth          There’s something else you should look at:

Youth          What’s that?

Youth          The dangers of Uranium mining: a lot of Uranium comes from Africa – and the governments are careless about safety for the mine-workers and local communities. The Health risks are appalling.

Youth          Not to mention the risk of nuclear materials ending up in nuclear bombs.

Youth          So – Nuclear?  Bad idea, right!

All               Right!

Youth          Where next?

Youth          Africa!

Youth          Rio+20 is about Sustainable Development: we’ve talked a lot about Sustainability. Now it’s time to talk about Development



A Visit to Africa – May 2012

Song THIRTEEN:   African Song! (Drums)

Fade up Images of African villages in the Savannah; African Markets, fields full of vegetables etc.

Youth         So – these are your farms in Africa?

Youth         Yes! And see! They’re growing very well. [to an African] Aren’t they?

African 1:   Very good. We make good money now.

Youth         And how is the Health Clinic?

African 2:   Wonderful. Wonderful – thank you! We have had no child deaths at all so far this year – praise the lord!

Arab 2:       Allah al Akhbar! Yes – and your family is well?

African 1:   Better than ever, sir! – and we have only you to thank for that….

Youth 1:     Our friend here does not seem so convinced?

African 2:   No – it is good. No doubt we are living better than we did before. But now – again – we are slaves to a foreign master.

African 1:   Ach! – No – he is joking, sir, Joking!

African 2:   No I’m not: this land belongs to me – to my father and all my ancestors stretching back thousands of years. Just because you people have money does not mean that they should be allowed to own our land. Land is the only thing we Africans have: often it is not very good land – but it is our’s. We should not sell it for money….

Arab 1:       But we gave you good price –

African 2:   My land has no Price! It is not a commodity – it is part of my soul! You cannot buy my soul…

Youth         He’s right, isn’t he?

All              Of course!

Youth         And his views need to be heard at Rio+20, don’t you think?

Youth         Culture is the Foundation of Development: without it – any kind of development – sustainable or otherwise – is meaningless!

All              Yes!

Arab 2:       On to Rio!!



Rio+20 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – June 2012

Spotlight comes up on the Story-teller’s group. A big picture of the Rio bay comes up behind her.

ST              Rio de Janeiro! The River of January – discovered by the Portuguese on the 1st January 1582 and arguable the loveliest setting for a city in the World.  It was home to the 1992 Earth Summit – which gave us the first drafts of most of the Environmental Laws we obey today. 20 years later, the United Nations convened a second Heads of State meeting in the City to accelerate progress towards sustainable development and the adoption by all countries of a Green Economy!

Music – the Bossa Nova rhythms, and Images of the Carnival!

Youth         Wow! – What a city!

Youth         No wonder they got the Olympic games AND the World Cup!

Youth         Does it have a green economy?

Youth         Well the Brazilians have been making ethanol out of sugar cane for decades…

Youth         But they are still clear-cutting the rain forest

Youth         Right – there are now laws against it but, as we found out, laws on paper are one thing: laws obeyed and policed on the ground are quite another…

Youth         So – what’s the plan?

Youth         Well – our Brazilian National Youth Council is hosting a Youth Blast Model Earth Summit to come up with all the solutions that the Heads of State need to think about!

Youth         And we’re invited?

Youth         Of course!

All              Great!

Youth         Let me guess! – you’re going to have FIVE committees – ?

Youth         Right – what would you have them be on?

Youth         Energy and Climate Change?

Youth          – water, minerals, fisheries – the general sustainability of all Resources. That’s One!

All              Great!

Youth         Education + Training for the Green Economy!

Youth         And Education for All! That’s the second;

All              Terrific!

Youth         Environment: protection of biodiversity, the forests, oceans

ALL           Of course!  THREE

Youth         Development, nutrition, health, jobs, safety nets: is that one?!

Youth         That’s FOUR – one more?

Youth         What are we missing? – [They all scratch their heads, thinking]

Youth         What’s the thing that only youth seem to think about in relation to sustainability?

Youth         The thing that governments and the UN left out of the Millennium Development Goals?  (He points his hand as if to shoot him! The penny drops!)

Youth         Peace!!

Youth         Of course! Right! [ – they hi-five each other, laughing!]

Youth         Human rights – the Right to Protection – all that good stuff which the UN has passed and governments prefer to forget…

Youth         Along with good governance, anti-corruption measures, Democracy, Rule of Law, etc!

Youth         Right!

ALL           FIVE!

Youth         Great!! – so how long have we got?!

Youth         The other youth arrive tonight – and the Governments come in on Sunday. So we have three days max –

Youth         Plenty of time!

Youth         Three days to save the world? No problem!

Youth         Great – so let’s get to it!

The lights change; the Story-teller comes forward alone, and narrates:

MC / ST     The young people had their decision by the middle of the second day. By contrast, the governmetns, who had already been negotiating for six months, didn’t have their’s by the time the Heads of State were due to arrive a week later. So the Government of Brazil, with UN support, hijacked the process and, working over a week-end, delivered a non-negotiable ‘Focussed Political Statement’ on the Monday morning to a waiting world.


Reality Sucks! – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – June 2012

Lights change – the Youth team enter, one of them reading the document.They are in shock.    

Youth         (reading) Nothing – I mean absolutely NOTHING!

Youth         Nothing about harmful subsidies?

Youth         No green taxes?

Youth 1:     (Scanning through the pages) General statements: no firm commitments.

Youth 3:     Nothing about Peace and de-militarisation?

Youth 1:     Are you kidding?! – Not a word! There’s nothing remotely close to our proposals in any of it.

Youth         I always said: we’re way too ambitious for them!

Youth         But we had to be!  If you’re hurtling towards a precipice, there’s no time to faff about: you just have to grab the wheel and change direction!

Youth         So – who was the spoiler?

Youth         The Brazilians, I guess!

Youth         And the UN!  The secretariat’s Zero Draft was pitched low – and went lower.

Youth         The UN’s really been pathetic, hasn’t it!?

Youth         Yeah!  They told me their plan: “If we pitch low,” they said, “The member states will say: ‘We can do better than this’ – and improve it. But, of course, they didn’t. I told them: ‘That’s like a General leading his troops into battle saying: “I’m going to lead you so badly, you’ll all feel sorry for me – and fight better as a result!”  Their psychology was infantile!

Youth         I thought the UN was supposed to bang heads together!

Youth         Get results!

Youth         Not any more. The member states seem to like a weak and ineffectual UN.

Youth         Not one of the G-8 Heads of State turned up

Youth         Copenhagen blues?!

Youth         Exactly!

Youth         One did!  The French guy, Francois Hollande – but he only stayed for an hour to give his speech and pose for the photograph. Then he left.

Youth         What a farce!

Youth 2:     It sucks, doesn’t it?

Youth 1:     Wait! – so what do we do?

All              (together)  What do we do?

Youth         We do together!

All              We do

Youth         Resist together

All              Resist together

Youth         Not in our Name!

All              Not in our Name!

Youth         We withdraw our support

All              Withdraw our Support

Youth         Stage a Walk Out

All              Stage a Walk Out

Youth         Protest to the Media

All              Protest to the Media

Youth         Tell the World!

All              Tell the World!

Youth         NOT IN OUR NAME

ALL           NOT IN OUR NAME!!

Youth         You will NOT Destroy the Planet in OUR NAME!!!

ALL           YOU  –  WILL  –  NOT  –  DESTROY  –  THE  –  PLANET  –  IN  –  OUR  –  NAME!!

They come together in a tight knot of people at the centre of the stage, punching the air!
                                                                                                                                      BLACK   OUT



A chance meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – June 2012

The Boy and the Girl walk in, arm-in-arm, crossing the stage. Tim, the Oilman, is hurrying across the other way. The Boy accosts Tim!

Boy            Tim – what the hell are you doing here?!

Tim             Luke! – how great to see you!  How ya all doin’?

Boy            Fine – fine!

Tim             And this is –

Boy            Lian! – you heard…

Tim             – that you broke up with my daughter? I did. No worries!  I broke up with her Mum long ago – and she’s found some one else, I think….

Boy            I heard.  So – what you doing here?!

Tim             I’m a part of the Sustainable Energy for All programme – UNIDO, World Bank, European Commission, Bank of America – it’s a great initiative!

Girl             I heard! You’ve raised a trillion dollars!

Tim             Getting there – yes!

Boy            It’s great to hear that something in the UN is working well.

Tim             The UN leadership is brilliant! It’s working really well – and it is the most important thing: you know – when you get cheap, sustainable energy, everything else – jobs, economic growth, poverty eradication – it all follows.  But – I heard your Youth Delegation walked out of the Summit!

Boy+Girl    We did! Sorry…

Tim             No!!  Well done you: it’s about time those lazy, good-for-nothing Member States got a good kicking.  They’re holding us all back. What are you planning now?  I heard you raised a good bit of money on the back of that show we did a few years back.

Boy            We did – and we’ve got a good bit of it left.

Girl             Truth is – we don’t know what to do now.

Boy            We’re at a bit of a dead end.

Tim             Ha! Did any one tell you the secret of a strong marriage?

Boy            No –

Tim             The husband has to be scared to death of the wife. That’s why my third marriage has lasted so long!  I’m scared shitless of my wife!

Girl             So – ?

Tim             So – you are in the best possible place right now. You’ve walked away from the Governments and the UN, so they’re a bit scared of you. Your job now is to make them a whole lot more scared. You’ve got to do something HUGE! Tahrir Square – Occupy – Arab Spring – Indignadoes – March on Washington – Pussy Riot…  Wrap it all up into one huge Action and blow the governments away!  It will be great!

Girl             If you say so.

Tim             But you must DO so!  I can’t – and neither can the UN. They’re trussed and tied by bureaucracy and the fact that they have 193 bosses. You – the youth! – are free agents: and look at the two of you, uniting nations across borders in a way that diplomats can only dream of!  You can make the UN work – and you must, because you and I need this organisation to work for our future….

Boy            How?

Tim             I don’t know, Luke!  You’re the activist. You know all these clever internet advocacy techniques. Get to it!  You guys elected Barack Obama!  Now you have to sort out the UN – and save the planet!

Girl             No pressure then?!

Tim             Yes, pressure!! Huge Pressure!  But, if you can’t do it, no one else will! Go for it!  I’ll help in any way I can.

Boy            Thanks, Tim!

They shake hands – and move off stage as lights                   FADE FAST TO BLACK                                                      


COP-19 – Warsaw, Poland – December 2013

Spotlight comes up on a girl who starts to sing. The rest of the cast gather round her – and then the whole chorus – singing, pointing, menacing. Angry!

Song FIFTEEN:   World so Blind

SCORE                      VIDEO                                AUDIO                      INSTRUMENTAL

For every gain there is a natural loss

In every church a temple and a mosque

For every paradise there must be a hell

In every saint the devil dwells

For every mountain the must be a plain

In every sea a piece of land


But what we gonna do when it all runs out

What we gonna say when its to late

Are we going to blame it all on someone else

Just not ourselves


World so blind, pretending as if nothing is wrong

Hey there man !  I’m talking to you!

Wait a minute, don’t walk away now

Yes its you!  not someone else on a different floor

I mean you!  they’ll be breaking down your door

Blaming you forever more


Hungry children with their sunken eyes

Holding out their hands in vain

Wealthy nations with their mountains of food

Excuses flaunted without shame

No one seems to be responsible

No one wants to take the blame


But what we gonna do when it all runs out

What we gonna say when it’s to late

Are we gonna blame it all on someone else

Just not ourselves


World so blind, pretending as if nothing is wrong

Hey there man, I’m talking to you

Wait a minute don’t walk away now

Yes it’s you, not someone else on a different floor

I mean you, they’ll be breaking down your door

Blaming you forever more


Little families in their broken down boats

Going for a sail today they’d say

Tankers laden with the wealth of the world

They wave then turn away

Countries argue over who when and where

But do they really care


And what we gonna do when it all runs out….

What we gonna say when it’s too late

Are we gonna blame it all on someone else

just not ourselves


World so blind, pretending as if nothing is wrong

Hey there man, I’m talking to you

Wait a minute don’t turn away now

Yes it’s you, not someone else on a different floor

I mean you, they’ll be breaking down your door

Blaming you forever more


Everyone’s a part of what’s going on

The blind man’s games we all play

Fighting over who is right and who is wrong

While others die without a say

No one seems to be responsible

No one wants to take the blame

The cast hold a tableau at the end of the song. Then the Chorus go back to their seats – and the core cast mill about on stage, looking lost.

Before you continue, get your cast to review Lesson FIVE:  Protest and Survive:  In the scene, some – think of an idea, then have second thoughts – and don’t want to mention it for fear of seeming foolish.

Youth         What are we going to do?

Boy            Something HUGE – but what?

Youth         I don’t see that there is anything we can do!

Youth         I think we should all just go home, knuckle down to our studies and forget about it!

Girl             You’re kidding, right?!

Youth         Not really!  Look! – we’ve danced about in Polar Bear suits. That did no good!

Youth         We stopped the traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge –

Youth           – we’ve mobilised thousands of young people around the world to come to Rio+20 and now this Warsaw Climate COP thingammy….

Youth         What else can we do?

Boy            What do you suggest?

Girl             We just give up?!

Youth         What else can we do?!!   You tell me!!  [They look at each other, blankly]

Youth         What would Gandhi do?  [They all stop and look at the Girl – who smiles, weakly]

Youth         You know what Gandhi would do?

Youth         Non-violent Protest

Youth         Of course – and – ?

Youth         Salt March?

Youth         No, not at this point!  C’mon: what did he always do at times like these?!

Youth         Of course!  Hunger Strike?!

Youth         What are you suggesting?  We all starve ourselves to death?!

Youth         That’s well sustainable!

Youth         No – but think about it: a Consumption strike!  We tell our elders: “NO! – we’re not going to consume your stupid goods!  We’re not going to buy your stupid cars or TVs…

Youth         We’re not going to go to your stupid schools and learn your stupid, crap lessons that perpetuate the status quo and actively constrain change!

Youth         We’re going to “Be the Change we want to see in the world!”

Youth         Kids on Strike!

Youth         But we are going to eat!?

Youth         We’re going to “live simply so that others may simply live!”

Youth         Sounds Fun!

All              Kids on Strike!!  Cool!



Kids on Strike – December

A slide of the world comes up on the screen – with the outline of 193 Countries; slowly, through the scene, the countries go red – and the dial at the top clicks over to a Billion Kids. The Core Cast come on stage – one of them carrying a laptop computer.

All              How we going to do this?

Youth         Simple: when I click on this symbol here, this e-mail goes out to a 100 million youth and youth councils worldwide, inviting them to join the school strike!

Youth         One HUNDRED Million?!

Youth         Yes – and you’d join a school strike, wouldn’t you?

Youth         ‘Course I would!

Youth         Time off school?

Youth         It’s a no-brainer!

Youth         But that’s exactly NOT the point: the point is that while we are off their school, we all take the time to learn about what really matters:

Youth         How to build the Green Economy

Youth         Create Green Jobs for all

Youth         Avoid catastrophic climate change

Youth         OK, OK!  I know – but for normal mortals, this is about time off school, OK?!

Youth         And the goal is to get the UN Security Council to consider our Model Earth Summit treaties –

Youth          Definitely!! The minute they call the Meeting, the Strike’s off!

Youth          Great!  – So push the button!

They push the button – and a spiders web spreads out across the map

Youth          Let’s see who’s online!

Youth         Where’s that? (A country goes red in Eastern Europe)

Youth         Estonia!!

Youth         Estonia I love you!

Youth         What do we know about Estonia?

Youth         They have more songs than people!

Youth         Look – there’s Canada wired!

Youth         What does it mean, “wired”?

Youth         It means that they have circulated the call to every youth in their country!

Youth         And they’ll all come out?

Youth         ‘Course they will! Believe, man!  Have faith!

Youth         This is going to work!

Youth         Boom – there goes India! – and Latin America

Youth         Latin America!  Of course! – they’re all at the beach!

Youth         C’mon – let’s get some momentum going!  “KIDS ON STRIKE!”

All              “KIDS ON STRIKE!”  “KIDS ON STRIKE!”

Youth         (to the audience)  Are you with us? C’mon – Stamp your feet!

All              (with the audience)  “KIDS ON STRIKE!”  “KIDS ON STRIKE!”

The more they stamp and shout – the quicker the countries fill with red until the whole world is engaged and some countries are turning green!

Youth         What does the Green mean!

Youth         That means they’re actually out on strike!

Youth         Look! – Australia is coming on big!

Youth         Canada’s awesome!

Youth         California’s happening, man!

Youth         But the Southern states are shite!

Youth         Europe?

Youth         Wired – but not out yet…

Youth         We have to mobilise!

Youth         But HOW?!

Youth         Google translate.

All:             What?

Youth         Get the call to action into every European language – and all the Asian languages. We did Spanish, so Latin America is great! Australia, North America: all single language.

Youth         Shit – we should have thought about that before…

Youth         No worries: this’ll only take about 20 minutes.

All:             Go for it!

Youth 6:     I just got a text from a friend at State: there’s talk of a high-level meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss our Call to Action!

Boy            I told you Tim would help!

Girl             That guy we met in Beijing: he’s texted me five times! They are scared shitless of us!

All              Great / Sweet / No kidding! Etc.

All              (with the audience)  “KIDS ON STRIKE!”  “KIDS ON STRIKE!”

The chorus takes the chant out into the audience – processing down the aisles – getting the audience on their feet and chanting with ever greater volume and intensity. The gentleman in the Pork-pie hat with a ‘PRESS’ ticket in it comes on stage!

Press 1                   What the Hell’s going on?

Press 2                   No idea – but it’s a Hell of a story!

The chorus changes the chant – getting the audience to chant with them!

Youth Call:            What do we want?!

Response               CHANGE!

Youth Call             When do we want it?!

Response               NOW!”

They speed it up, faster and Faster – until they are all chanting:

All:                      “CHANGE!  NOW!  CHANGE!  NOW!”

Suddenly, they stop – music! Youths 7 & 8 + the singers, come on again dressed as pressmen, singing:

Press           It’s a story! A mega mega story!

Headline Story, definitely front page news –

One of the Youth comes in holding an I-phone:

Youth         (Very excited!!)  Ab! – Ab! – EEK!!! – you’re not going to believe this: (reading) “The Governments of the People’s Republic of China, Brazil and the United States of America have ordered a full meeting of the United Nations Security Council to allow the leaders of the School Strike to present their Call to Action for the Green Economy!!”

The young people shout and cheer and clap and holler. The Press stand – stunned!

Youths       Incredible!!!

Press & Chorus sing:    It’s a story! A HUGE – ENORMOUS! – story!

Incredible Story, Mega Mega front page news –

Newsnight satellite, print it right,

Broad side, nationwide, any side!

Front page, centre-fold, get it sold!

Extra, extra, read all about it!

Headlines Headlines no doubt about it!

Extra, extra – read all about it!

Headlines, Headlines – take it home and shout it!

Front Page!

Build it high!

Print it bold!

Reach the sky!

Make ’em shout!

Make ’em cry!

Youth go meet the leaders of the World!!



United Nations – New York, USA January 2014

Before you start this scene, get your cast to review Lesson SIX:  The Treaties

Lights change – the Big UN symbol appears on the screen at the back of the stage. The Core Cast is split between those in dark suits, playing diplomats, and those in jeans who come as youth activists. Tim comes in with the Youth Activists.

Boy            Tim! – you came!

Tim             How do you think you got the US State Dept. to support this?

Girl             Thank you!

Tim             No – thank you!  You did this, both of you – and it’s HUGE!

The diplomats come in and sit around a horseshoe table designed to represent the UN Security Council Chamber. The Secretary General sits at the apex of the table and raps his gavel:

S G             Good morning everyone. We are gathered here to listen to the ideas of young people – who, as we have seen, have added a welcome element of urgency in our task of building a Green Economy I am pleased to declare this Special Session of the UN Security Council Open! Before we hear from the young people, I invite the distinguished representative of the Government of Brasil, who called this meeting, to address us:

Diplo 1:      My government’s reasons for calling this meeting were both pragmatic – to get our Young People to go back to school! – and idealistic: we have read their Call to Action for the Green Economy and, though naïve in parts, it is a considerably better document than the one we were able to agree at the recent Summit in Rio. So – please welcome these young people to this important meeting: (polite applause) 

Youth 1:     It is an awesome honour to address your Excellencies in this iconic chamber! As we say in the Preamble to our Call, humanity stands at a crossroads: one way leads to prosperity and security in a green economy. The other leads over a precipice to human extinction along with the extinction of many of the great creatures with whom we share this planet.

Youth 2:     We called the world’s young people out on strike because we wanted them to know WHY we have to appeal to you to start the transition from the Brown to the Green Economy. I think that, because you agreed to meet with us, everybody knows now.

Youth 3:     And we – the young people of the world – are united in this appeal to you. United across national, ethnic, cultural, economic and religious barriers. We urge you to discover the same unity and work with us to make the changes we need

Youth 4:     The United Nations was set up to ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’ – and to secure our human rights, to provide food security, water security, personal security of our persons from violence or harm…  Your recent move towards a Right To Protect was a bold and courageous initiative to bolster that commitment.

Youth 1:     But – our continuing dependence on the Brown Economy threatens every aspect of that ‘Security’ which you seek to ensure for us. This is why we call on you to transition away from it. Rapidly! If you don’t – why would any of my generation contemplate bringing children into a world that’s headed the way the Brown Economy is leading it.

Diplo 2:      You mean – not content with giving up on the schools we have struggled so hard to provide for you, you’re now threatening to give up on having families?!

Diplo 3       – on continuing the human race??!!

Youth 3:     You leave us no other rational choice!

Diplo 2:      But this Call of your’s transcends the frontiers of reason! Total de-militarisation, nuclear disarmament, global welfare and energy safety net, reducing carbon emissions to 350 parts per million??!!  It’s absurd!  We’re at 390 already!! 450ppm is the lowest anyone around this table is considering …

Youth 2:     350ppm is the only sure way we can ensure our world survives: look how fast the ice-caps and the glaciers are melting at 390?

Youth 1:     450 is a band-aid. You know that. We know that! The only people who don’t know that are those with special interests in the fossil fuel industries – and I would hope you would have the guts to stand up to them, and do the right thing. [music]  We love this planet: we want you to start saving it now because, by the time we’re sitting where you are today, it will be too late! Listen….

SONG  SIXTEEN:  We want this world to survive for ever 

SCORE                      VIDEO ( – go to end)                                AUDIO                      INSTRUMENTAL

All the time through the day and through the night

I think about my life in this world

So many times I’ve tried to find

A way to live my life – a way to ease my mind


I know this world could die for ever

And people are the reason why

Children and parents lovers and poets

They just can’t hear our planet cry –


We want this world to survive for ever

And all the people join their hands together

In a bond of love, kindness and friendship

We can make peace with the earth


Too many people have died in wars

And we want that no one else should suffer

Not again.

Half the world lives in despair

We’ve got to show them, show them that we care!


We know our World is a wonderful place

And we must help to keep it so

I want to believe that this world will  be

A peaceful place for all to grow!

We want this world to survive for ever

And all the people join their hands together

In a bond of love, kindness and friendship

We can make peace with the earth


Let’s join our hands together

Let’s make peace throughout our world!

S G             Thank you: I’ve rarely been so moved by a presentation in this chamber. Thank you – and now, Excellencies, may I suggest that we go through the Children’s Call to Action line by line – and see where we can find consensus?

Youth 3      (whispers) Why do they keep calling us ‘Children’?!

Diplo 2:      With respect, Secretary General, may I raise a Point of Information?

S G             Go ahead:

Diplo 2:      Does this meeting today mean that any interest group can use a campaign of civil disobedience to get access to this chamber?

S G             Absolutely not.

Diplo 2:      Good – and having trotted through their naïve little litany of proposals, can we have some kind of guarantee that their campaign will be called off?

S G             The campaign is already called off, as you must know, Excellency: it was called off the minute that this meeting was announced.

Diplo 2:      Good. Just let it be registered that my government regrets profoundly that the United Nations has allowed an interest group to put a gun to our head to force this meeting upon us.

S G             Your regrets are noted, Excellency –

Diplo 3:      A further point of information, Chairman: my government has a representative system of local, regional and national youth councils that allow the voice of youth to be heard in government. Are any of the views expressed in this Call the result of deliberations within such representative systems? – or any process that would give them some democratic legitimacy?

S G             Were national youth councils involved in the development of your Call?

Youth 1:     They were certainly consulted, Mr Chairman. But – we find that elected youth officials, like every other elected official, seem more interested in winning their next election than addressing long-term issues like these. I trust that governments here have the long-term interests of future generations in mind this morning: their interests are every bit as legitimate as any youth bureaucrat sitting on a Youth Council.

Diplo 3:      Thank you. As I suspected, this Call for Action has no democratic legitimacy and we are only discussing it because we’ve been forced to do so by civil disobedience.

Youth 2      (whispering)  Who is that bastard?!

Youth 3:     (whispering) No idea – What’s going on here? (they shake their heads in disbelief)

S G             Your points are noted, Excellency. This morning is, of course, a general discussion – following which, if Excellencies agree, a report will be delivered to the 3rd Committee in the Autumn. Again, if the Committee agrees – a resolution may be drafted and forwarded to the General Assembly at its session next year – and, if carried, will have voluntary, advisory status to member states. Is that an acceptable programme?

Youth 2:     Next year!!!??

S G             Given that there is no particular urgency, I suggest we take a coffee break now – and return to consider the Call in our second session. We resume in ten minutes. Thank you! (he slaps the gavel – and they all EXIT)

The kids remain – looking at each other, trying to smile, but all a little shell-shocked

Youth         What was that all about??

Youth         Where are the grown-ups?!!

Youth         If these are the people we’re trusting to save the world – we’re toast!

Youth         “No particular sense of urgency…”  Which planet did he come from?

Youth         Come on – he was the one decent fellow amongst them!

Youth         But here – look at this: (going through the papers on one desk) “Instructions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “On No Account allow serious consideration of the Children’s proposals…”

Youth         Why do they keep calling us ‘Children’?

Youth         It means they don’t have to take us seriously!

Youth         Bastards! – they never were going to do anything…

Youth         They’re just going through the motions to get us to call off the strike!

Youth         Durgh! Wouldn’t you do that in their position?! We shouldn’t have made those promises about ‘No Pre-conditions’

Youth         They have betrayed us.

Youth         They screwed us in Copenhagen!

Youth         They let us down again in Rio

Youth         They failed to meet their Kyoto commitments

Youth         – or the MDGs!

Youth         Right to Protect is dead in the water;

Youth         Delivering Humanity from the Scourge of War…  What a joke!

Youth         Tell that to the Syrians!

Youth         And the Green Economy’s a more distant dream than ever

Youth         The UN has let us down every step of the way

Youth         And – they’re going to let us down now!

Youth         We need new governments…. New people to sit in these chairs!

Youth         (grinning mischievously) Well! – Look – that sign says my USA. I know I can do a better job of representing my country than that idiot!

Youth         That sign says China – you know I’m from there….

Slowly, they fill the chairs around the horseshoe table. The Boy and the Girl go to the SG’s chair

Boy & Girl:  Can we be your gender-balanced co-chairs?

Youth         Great idea! – all those in favour?

Boy            But what do we do about them?

Youth         Oh  (- turning to the audience) – you’re still here?! So all of you are now caught up in this with us naughty children!! Well, if you’re not OK with that, I suggest you leave the room immediately! All those in favour? (All raise their hands)

Boy            (slapping the gavel) We call this meeting of the Young People’s UN Security Council to order!

Girl             First motion, please!

Youth         I move we agree our Climate Change target of 350ppm and the $43 Trillion dollar Investment Fund for the immediate transition to a Green Economy. Do I have a seconder?

Youth         I second that on behalf of Future Generations!

Boy            All those in favour? Come on – raise those hands!

All raise their hands. The Boy slaps the gavel:

Girl             Agreed! Unanimously!!  Next – ?

Youth         I move our Sustainability Education bill – to “Re-orient Education towards sustainability!”

Youth         “That every Youth is instructed in the science of sustainability from the day they enter primary school to the day they graduate university and that they be assessed for their competence in this subject as a key requirement of graduation!” I second!

Girl             All those in favour?  (all raise their hands. The Girl slaps the gavel)

Boy            Agreed! Next – ?

Youth         I move our comprehensive Peace, nuclear disarmament and de-militarisation Treaty –

Youth         Remind me…

Youth         The UN Standing Army / Police Force designed to police the referendums in Kashmir, Nagorno Karabakh and Western Sahara within 12 months; to secure the South Asian Common Market; to broker the 2-state solution for Israel / Palestine with Jerusalem hosting both capitals; the African Great Lakes Union  – the expansion of Mercosur and ECOWAS plus the re-distribution of permanent seats on the UN Security Council to the regional blocs.

Youth         It runs to 18-pages: its pretty comprehensive.

Youth         I know – we all supported it. I second…

Boy            All those in favour? (all raise their hands. He smacks down the gavel!)  Agreed!

Girl             Next?

Youth         I move our agreement for the Tobin Tax which gives the UN authority to raise and spend direct taxes to create a global welfare and energy safety net. A seconder please?

Youth         Me!!

Girl             All those in favour? (all raise their hands; the gavel smacks down!)  Agreed!

Boy            Next – ? – we’re running out of time here –

Youth         The Environmental Security Council

Youth         That was my idea! I second that!

Girl             All those in favour? (all raise their hands. He smacks down the gavel!)  Agreed!

Boy            Great! Time for one more – if we’re lucky!

Youth         R2P?

Girl             Sure – go for it!

Youth         It’s a bit fuzzy this one…

Youth         Not fuzzy at all: “We hold it our sacred duty as citizens of planet earth to protect the human rights and dignity of all the peoples with whom we share this earth. We therefore commit to serve and protect those rights against all who would try to violate them – individually, communally, nationally, regionally and globally.”

Girl             I think that’s pretty clear!

Boy            We’re talking about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights actually meaning what it says.  I second that!

Youth         Me too!

Girl             All those in favour!  (all raise their hands) Agreed (He slaps the gavel as the Diplomats come in, led by the Secretary-General. They stop, astonished at the young people occupying their chairs at the Summit table.)

S G             What the – ?  What’s going on here??!!

Youth         We decided we’d help things along a bit –

Youth         – get done in your coffee break what might take you guys 40 years to do!

Youth         By which time, you’ll be dead and our world will be fried!

Diplo 3:      This is outrageous – they’ve been looking through our confidential briefings!

Youth         Yeah! – embarrassing isn’t it: to know you planned to agree absolutely nothing!

Diplo 1:      Get these kids outta here!  Call Security!!

Youth         No – we should call security: you are a threat to OUR security!

Youth         We’re no threat to your’s!

Diplo 2:      Mr Secretary General: you must agree!  This is a most shocking breach of UN security – you must allow us to eject these Children immediately.

S G             I agree it’s a breach of protocol – not security. I think our young friends had better leave.

Youth         And let you faff around for another 40 years!

Youth         Not likely.

Diplo 3:      Their insolence is insupportable. Call Security!

Diplo 2:      Eject them!

Youth         I suggest you re-consider: one click on my I-phone here and the billion young people who’ve been on strike these last weeks will come out again, baying for your blood! Think how that will make you look in the media?!

Youth         And to your governments back in your capitals – for whom you were supposed to solve the problem!

S G             What would you have us do?

Girl             We would like you to sit with us, quietly, with open minds – and go through every element of this Call.

Boy            We know we’re naïve! We need your experience in the art of the possible. But you also need our energy – our idealism – our thirst for a future that works!

Youth         Please!  You were Children once.

Youth         You looked forward to lives filled with happiness, love and security!

Youth         Lawyers would call your failure to act on climate change an ‘intergenerational crime!’

Youth         We should probably sling you in jail for murdering our future. (music starts…)

Youth         Instead, we ask you to talk to us – to work with us!

Youth         It’s all we ever asked!

Youth         To be a midwife to the Future we Want!

Youth         The Future we need to survive

A girl comes forward and sings. During the song, the diplomats are bewitched and led like lambs to the table where  they sit together with the youth – reading through the papers, looking to each other for clarifications, working together, elders and youth – working it out. Together.

Song SEVENTEEN:   Child for a Day

SCORE                      VIDEO                                AUDIO                      INSTRUMENTAL

I was a child who ran full of laughter

I was a child who lived for a day

My eyes full of sunshine

My heart full of smiles

I was a child for a day.


 We were the children who ran in the morning

We were the children who laughed at the sun

Who listened to those who spoke with their wisdom

We were the ones we would say.

We’re getting older as time goes by

A little older every day

We are the children of yesterday.


We are the men who worry of nothing

We are the men who speak without aim

Who listen to no one yet speak of their wisdom

We were the ones we would say.

We’re getting older as time goes by  

A little older every day

We are the children of yesterday.

The lights fade very slowly on the scene of the elder diplomats and the youth working together.



Back to the Future – Peace Day 2050

The spotlight picks out the Story-teller and her group as they return to the stage watching the diplomats and youth at work around the horse-shoe table.  During the scene – they, and the Chorus – slip away and the stage is cleared.

Child 4       So – was that it?

Child 3       All done and dusted in a 20-minute coffee break?

S T             No – silly!  We were stuck in that stifling room for weeks.  We didn’t have much respect for diplomats when we saw what they’d done to us – but after a month with them, we began to realise the massive obstacles they faced.

Child 1       So – what did you do?

S T             We became good friends with them!  We laughed a lot – I don’t think laughter had ever been a feature of the UN Security Council until we got there. And we banged heads together. We refused to take ‘No!’ for an answer.

Child 2       But what happened when, like my Mum says: ‘No means no!?’

S T             We found another way. There’s always another way: it’s hard – but when you have a billion eager young people breathing down your neck and demanding results around the clock, you can’t afford to give up. And we didn’t want to – and neither did they! For the first time in their lives, they were achieving stuff – they were cabling their capitals, telling their governments what they had to do. It was great!

Child  4      Which one were you?

S T             I was just one of the gang – not a very important one.

Child 5       Are you still friends

S T             Of course!  Friends like that you never lose! But we don’t see each other that much

Child 6       I think you were Gandhi

S T             What do you mean?

Child 1       You were the one quoting Gandhi at them?

S T             How do you know about Gandhi?

Child 2       He’s the first lesson in our history books.

Child 3       We all learn about him and his spinning wheel

Child 5       – and his funny dhoti!

Child 4       School starts with Peace Makers now, didn’t you know?

S T             I didn’t.

Child 6       That’s the first lesson of every child – to be a Peace Child.

Child 1       Surely you know that?

S T             (Looking through the book) – No – did I miss something?

Child 2       “When ancient tribes made peace, they sealed it by exchanging a baby: each baby grew up with the other’s tribe and if, in the future, conflict threatened, each tribe would send out that child to negotiate a peace.

Child 1       Such a child was called a ‘Peace Child’!

S T             I didn’t know that.  Perhaps that’s a better reason to celebrate Peace Day: to make sure that ever child is trained and able to be a Peace Child?

Child 5       Don’t worry! We can do it –

Child 3       – if ever you need us to do it again.

S T             That’s very comforting. Thank you.

Child 5       Come on – the party’s starting. You don’t want to miss the Peace Day Party, do you?

S T             Never!

Children     Happy Peace Day – and thanks for the story!

S T             Happy Peace Day Everyone!

Cast & Chorus and Dancers end up in a tableau at the end for the Curtain call. A few words of thanks from the Director, ending with a tribute to the Composer and a request by Joseph to sing his tribute song to Martin Luther King.

Song EIGHTEEN:   I have a Vision

SCORE                      VIDEO                                AUDIO                      INSTRUMENTAL

I have a vision,

I have a dream

I have the answer

  – or so it seems.


Don’t you see the truth, to fight is not right,

We shall have our rainbow, we will have our sunlight

If we unite!


There’s a way you see, where no one gets hurt

There’s a way with love if you try!

                                 There is hope and faith to keep you alive

In your darkest day, just pray!


Reach out with love, gather all your courage,

Reach out with love, seek a brighter day!

Love as our sword, peace as our weapon

Reach out with love!  Let us win this way!

Martin Luther King had a vision!  He had a dream

He had the answer, or so it seemed!

He knew the truth – to fight is not right

We can have our rainbow, we can have the sunlight!

We must unite!


A new world,      A new light!

A new world,      A new light!

A new hope!       A new light –


Reach out with love, gather all your courage,

Reach out with love, seek a brighter day!

Love as our sword, peace as our weapon

Reach out with love!  Let us win this way!


  I have a vision!

T H E      E N D


The Cast come and sit on the edge of the stage, and the Director moderates a Q & A session between them and the audience. It would be a useful context for this discussion to review with your cast Lesson SEVEN – Action:  What Young People Can do?  Even if you do not do a discussion afterwards with your audiences, you should do one with the cast – to ensure that the message of the play is embedded in their daily lives.