Two words: Greta Thunberg.
On September 27th, 2019, millions of students around the world skipped class to take a revolt to the streets. Their fight – climate change.
Climate change activists were astonished when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report on October 8th, 2018 by over 6,000 scientific references, 91 authors from 40 nations that state a threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius is required within the next 12 years so that catastrophic ecological collapse is avoided.
The only silver lining in the report is that we are not beyond hope. The report was composed as an authoritative guide for global leaders.
"Too much time has passed" -Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg, a brave young 16-year-old girl from Sweden has called out these leaders stating, “Too much time has passed.” Today, she marched alongside hundreds of thousands of students in the Canadian city of Montreal.
It has been over a year since the initial IPCC report and Greta has harsh demands. And a movement to back them up.
The origination of the climate strike dates back to 2015 when a group of students skipped school during the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, France. A subsequent strike emerged weeks later to demand action.
The strikes gathered 50,000 in 100 nations with only 3 demands:
1. 100% clean energy
2. keep fossil fuels in the ground
3. help climate refugees.
"Global leaders need to act as if their house is on fire." -Greta Thunberg
According to Greta, “global leaders need to act as if their house is on fire.” Although you might believe that this is meant to be metaphorical, the truth is that the changes in climate are doing exactly that. The rise in overall temperatures has caused the largest loss of our earth’s ice caps. The weather has exasperated around the world and we have already entered “the next mass extinction.”
"How dare you! I should be in school across the ocean. You have stolen my future!" -Greta Thunberg
“How dare you!” states Greta, in tears and angry, at a UN Conference in New York City. “I should be in school across the ocean. You have stolen my future!”
In an open letter in The Guardian, 150 students’ hearts cry out for a future that includes their voices. They are deeply concerned about inheriting the mistakes of their parents, their governments, and big business.
These students believe that we have failed them. That we continue to fail them. And that we will most likely keep failing them in the future. But they will “not rest again,” according to the open letter.
There have been 48 notable student strikes in modern history. Some of the most memorable of these are Hong Kong (umbrella movement) student protest for democracy (40,000+ in 2014), Quebec student protests (250,000+ in 2012), Jallikattu protests (1M+ in 2017), Chilean student protests (150,000+ in 2011-2013), Tiananmen Square protests (1M+ in 1989), and the protests of 1968 (500,000+).
Protests have been historically dangerous, where thousands have been either hurt or killed. Although there have been some arrests made during the Climate Marches, there have not been any reported cases of any injuries or death.
This is a symbolic moment in time where global leaders must stand up and make changes because when kids revolt around the world, it can easily erupt into something much bigger, where corrupt leaders and politicians send out riot police in nations where children are not as easily protected.
Climate Strike timeline:
March 15, 2019 – 2.3M+ and 7 scientists in Antarctica
May 24, 2019 – 75,000+
June 21, 2019 “Fridays for Future” – 60,000+
August 5-9, 2019
450 European climate strikers invited to Smile for Future conference at the University of Lausanne
September 20 & 27, 2019 “Week for Future” (7300 locations in 163 nations) – 4M+
October 4, 2019 – 138 nations already registered to strike in 1400+ cities
(watch scenes from recent climate march here)
(Greta Thunberg speeches here)
Historical Participation in Climate Strikes:
At least 1 country on every continent has participated in at least 1 strike. Here are the numbers:
North America: 23
South America: 12
Find updated information on future Climate Strike data here