School strikes to protest inaction on climate change all over the world
Thousands of students skipped class joining a global day of protest against climate change. Too young to vote, these young people have chosen the school strikes to force politicians to listen.
Out of their classrooms, they shouted: " there is no planet B" and hoped for adults and people in power to listen to their mass call for change concerning the climate.
Ministers and people in the system critiqued this movement and said they are missing out important classes of maths, science, and spelling lessons... but these young leaders say this is more important.
Here are the words of a 14-year-old, student Milou Albrecht, from Castlemaine, Australia and one of the one million students who protested :
We may still be in school, but we know the mining and burning of fossil fuels are driving dangerous climate impacts, including natural disasters, droughts, bushfires, and heatwaves...
Extreme weather is all around us, and with 2019 an election year, it’s time our politicians showed leadership.
We only have a decade to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, yet our politicians are wasting time and putting our future in danger. As school students, we’re sick of being ignored.
Inspired by a young Swedish girl Greta Thunberg's speech and her call for system change, not climate change (nominated now for a Nobel Peace Prize) more than 1.4 millions of children around the world in over 2,000 protests in 125 countries walk out to demand the system change.
Thunberg here is telling us that our current political and economic systems are no longer fit for purpose. She is pointing out that the emperor has no clothes.
Change is coming...
In Michigan, USA: Our fellow Nariman Zorgui joining the movement
Joining the youth of America, UW ambassador Nariman Zorgui and striked the decades of inaction that has left us with just 11 years to change the trajectory of the worst effects of climate change, according to the Oct 2018 UN IPCC Report.
The strike took place in the streets of Ann Arbor, the city of Michigan, USA and protested the world leaders not acknowledging, prioritizing, or properly addressing our climate crisis.
In New Zealand: students perform Haka dance to protest climate inaction
World leaders only have 11 more years to avoid disastrous levels of global warming, according to a 2018 report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
If human-generated greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the planet will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels as soon as 2030. That threshold is critical.
Global warming at that temperature would put the planet at a greater risk of events like extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people, according to the IPCC report.
In New York City: The strikes kick off
The young New Yorkers joined hundreds of thousands of students around the world across the city, including outside of City Hall, the Bronx High School For Science, Columbus Circle, and elsewhere.
Here are some tweets reflecting the students’ anger and outrage.
In Prague: The crowd was massive
In Seoul, South Korea: protesters rally to protest their governments' failure to take sufficient action against climate change
In Australia: climate strikers continue to grow their movement and sustain their momentum
" Our planet is changing, why aren't we? "
In France: More than 170,000 students in France went on strike
In Montreal, Canada: Youth in Canada are striking every month
We’re here today to call upon all levels of our gov for a just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030 that protects workers & upholds Indigenous rights” Claire, Edmonton 10th Grade student.
Despite some schools issuing advance notices asking students to stay in class or face absenteeism, thousands of students took part in the demonstration of #Youth4Climate protest that is taking a place all over the world.
Their demands: Green New Deal
Children are often told they are tomorrow’s leaders. But if they wait until ‘tomorrow’ there may not be a future in which to lead.
Six decades ago 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic were created and went unrecycled – finding their way to a landfill or in our oceans. A Deposit Return Scheme can reduce this. When you buy a drink you pay a little extra that is repaid to you when you return the drinks container.
The young protesters demanded more than a deposit system, they demanded the CHANGE of the system by :
- An equitable transition for marginalized communities that will be most impacted by climate change
- An equitable transition for fossil-fuel reliant communities to a renewable economy
- 100% renewable energy by 2030
- Upgrading the current electric grid
- No creation of additional fossil fuel infrastructure (pipelines, coal plants, fracking etc.)
- The creation of a committee to oversee the implementation of a Green New Deal
- That has subpoena power
- Committee members can’t take fossil fuel industry donations
- Accepts climate science
A halt in any and all fossil fuel infrastructure projects
- Fossil fuel infrastructure disproportionately impacts indigenous communities and communities of color in a negative way
- Creating new fossil fuel infrastructure would create new reliance on fossil fuels at a time of urgency
All decisions made by the government be tied in scientific research, including the 2018 IPCC report
- The world needs to reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2030, and 100% by 2050
- We need to incorporate this fact into all policymaking
Declaring a National Emergency on Climate Change
- This calls for a national emergency because we have 11 years to avoid catastrophic climate change
- Since the US has empirically been a global leader, we should be a leader on climate action
- Since the US largely contributes to global GHG emissions, we should be leading the fight in GHG reduction
Compulsory comprehensive education on climate change and its impacts throughout grades K-8
- K-8 is the ideal age range for compulsory climate change education because:
- Impressionability is high during that developmental stage, therefore it’s easier for children and young adults to learn about climate change in a more in-depth manner, and retain that information
- Climate change becomes a nonpartisan issue, as it truly is because it’s based solely on science from the beginning
Preserving our public lands and wildlife
- Diverse ecosystems and national parks will be very impacted by climate change, therefore it’s important that we work to the best of our abilities to preserve their existence
Keeping our water supply clean
- Clean water is essential for all living beings when we pollute our water supply or the water supply of someone else, it’s simply a violation of an essential human right
Their solutions :
- The extraction of Greenhouse Gases from the atmosphere
- Reforestation-- replenishing our forests by planting trees and allowing them to thrive, sustainable forestry
- Reduced food waste-- methane emissions from rotting food in landfills contributes immensely to overall Greenhouse Gases emissions
- Emission standards and benchmarks
- We need to create standards and benchmarks for reducing Greenhouse Gases that align with those expressed by the science community to avoid 2° Celsius warming
- Changing the agriculture industry
- Less carbon-intensive farming
- More plant-based farming
- Using renewable energy and building renewable energy infrastructure
- Stopping the unsustainable and dangerous process of fracking
- Stop mountaintop removal/mining
- It is very harmful to our environment and people working in these fields