Where were you when the children tried to save the planet?
Where will you be today?
Will you be at your desk? At the usual meetings? Or having a long lunch?
Or will you be joining the millions of children and teenagers who are taking to the streets for the Global Climate Strike to let the ‘adults’ know that enough is enough?
In May, an estimated 1.4million young people around the world walked out of school. And this time they are asking the adults - the decision makers - to join them.
It is shaping up to be the biggest day of climate action in the planet’s history and is that any surprise?
Every day we read another headline about ice-caps melting, forests burning, and cities flooding. Some people continue to deny that the changing temperatures are as a result of human actions. But what can’t be denied is that the global climate is changing, and weather patterns are becoming more extreme.
Here’s all you need to know about the day of action.
What is the Climate Strike?
When Greta Thunberg, a Swedish school student, sat in front of the Swedish parliament building with her hand-painted "Skolstrejk för klimatet" sign, she kick-started a worldwide movement. It wasn't the first time school kids had walked out of school to demand change, but Thunberg's one-person strike on the steps of parliament drew global attention. On Fridays leading up to the 2018 Swedish election, she'd miss class to protest, sign in hand.
Thunberg has become the face of the new movement, inspiring students across the world to leave school and demand action on climate change. In March, students took to the streets in over 2,000 cities asking adults to take responsibility for the climate crisis. Smaller strikes occurred in May, June and August and today’s strike is expected to be the biggest yet.
When is the climate strike?
The first strike will take place on Friday, September 20 and is designed to coincide with a UN emergency climate action summit in New York.
A second strike being held on September 27 with different organisations signing up for different strike dates. Thunberg herself will be attending the climate strike in New York City on September 20 after she traveled to the US by sailboat.
Where are strikes taking place?
All over the world, including America, Australia and Germany. You can find out what is happening in your community at globalclimatestrike.net.
For so many reasons. But here are a few:
Because the people who did the least to cause this crisis are the first to suffer. Islands are sinking below the sea and people are losing their farms to desert. But they aren’t the people who are producing the most CO2.
Because the technology exists to produce zero emission energy but the political will is lacking whilst the lobbying power of the oil industry is so strong.
Because we have lost half the animals on the planet since 1970, and we are going to lose more.
Because the UN estimates unchecked climate change could create a billion refugees this century.
And because you want to be able to look your grandkids – or anyone else’s – in the eye and say with conviction, ‘I played my part in trying to stop our planet from being destroyed’.
So, where will you be today?