Some of you might have noticed that something is happening. And it’s truly amazing. Kids all over the world are taking action over climate change. They have enough of standing by waiting for the grown-ups to do the right thing and are taking charge.
Greta Thunberg is the 16 year old Swedish girl you might have heard of for doing just that. She has been on strike from school since last summer in protest over global inaction and has inspired many other school children around the globe to do the same.
“Why should I be studying for a future that soon may be no more?”[i]
In Brussels last week, tens of thousands marched, as did kids in Germany, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia and America. In French cities recently there were more youth climate activists than there had been ‘yellow vest’ protestors the day before[ii]. The movement is spreading rapidly and gaining traction.
Greta has appeared recently as a speaker at the UN and at Davos where she berated the billionaires who had turned up in their private jets in no uncertain terms.
“Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But I don’t want your hope, 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, I want you to act as if you would in a crisis.”[iii]
We have been told by the world’s top scientists that we have 12 years to change our ways and prevent runaway, catastrophe climate disaster. To most children it is obvious what we need to do and they are fed up of being told by adults that it’s more complicated than they think. It is their future we are destroying as they and their children will be affected by it. They see the powers that be are stuck in apathy, complacency and worse still in hock to the oil and coal industry.
“We children shouldn’t have to do this. But since almost no one is doing anything, and our very future is at risk, we feel like we have to continue.”[iv]
At the UN climate talks in Poland last year, a delegation of the Youth Climate Movement made their presence known. These talks have been taking place for 24 years and every target that has been set has been missed. Victoria Barrett, 19, has been campaigning about climate change for five years and spoke at the United Nations General Assembly about youth involvement in its sustainable development goals
“What will be the catalyst for people in power to do what is right? …. Do we have to be stealing a livable planet from people not even born yet? How many millions of people will have to die from climate damage such as drought, famine, superstorms and wildfires before world leaders commit to implementing real solutions to defeat this crisis?”[v]
These strong and eloquent young people are speaking truth to power where many adults won’t while others dismiss them as naive. In America youth activists targeted, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi’s Washington DC office to demand change[vi]. The Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats group were arrested for a sit-in over the Green New Deal. While the Juliana vs. US climate lawsuit[vii] which was filed by young Americans for ‘failing to protect it’s citizens from climate change’ has sadly recently been denied reconsideration by the judge.
The first UK wide youth strike for climate will take place on February 15th 2019 in major cities, followed by a global youth strike on March 15th. Do you think we should listen to the kids? Will you and your children be there? We are certainly considering it even though I think maybe the Boy Wonder is still bit young at 8 years old.
Kids Fight For The Planet