1.4 million of our youth in 123 countries skipped school to demand stronger climate policies
Leave it to our future generation to educate some of the “we don’t believe in science or facts” folks. Over the weekend, over 1.4 million of our youth in 123 countries skipped school to demand, not inquire about, stronger climate policies for our world.
Many see this movement as the largest environmental protest in history. “This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice,” Swedish activist Greta Thunberg told The Guardian. “We knew there was a climate crisis. We knew because everything we read and watched screamed out to us that something was very wrong.”
Thunberg’s message rang true with thousands across the globe, now named the Fridays for Future movement. If you’ve not heard of Thunberg, prepare yourself for greatness. She’s been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her work combating global warming. She’s loud, she’s gaining an all-important following — oh, and she’s only 16 years old.
“Our house is on fire,” Thunberg said. “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” She has the presence and maturity of someone twice her age, and she has a message to deliver.
All weekend, people been flocking to social media to support these strong kids:
Part of Thunberg’s agenda is to “keep fossil fuels in the ground, phase out subsidies for dirty energy production, seriously invest in renewables and start asking difficult questions about how we structure our economies and who is set to win and who is set to lose.” Did we mention she’s just 16 years old?
It’s impossible to ignore what’s happening to our planet. Social media took on the subject of climate change recently, asking people of a younger generation to pay attention to what’s going on in the world. Environmental activists and scientists used the #10yearchallenge to highlight a very real concern — the dramatic changes to our planet.
Students around the world have listened to and learned from Thunberg. They’ve protested during school, they’ve stopped traffic, and they’ve joined her #FridaysForFuture campaign. Not only have kids in our country listened, but worldwide strikes also took place over the weekend resulting in hundreds of strikes in multiple countries from Washington DC to Moscow, Tromsø to Invercargill, Beirut to Jerusalem, and Shanghai to Mumbai because no one that that can make a difference are making a difference.
Luckily for us, we’ve got some very young, very passionate young women leading the charge — Alexandria Villasenor, Haven Coleman, and Isra Hirsi, daughter of Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat from Minnesota.
Some may say the kids are too young and maybe they don’t understand the importance of what is happening. But these young women are backed by thousands of scientists from around the world supporting them. Scientists have been very clear about what we need to do to tackle climate change and these protests are just another reminder we are asking that our leaders do the same.