Inspired by a young Swedish student’s solo protest on climate inaction, students around the world strike and demand climate action from their governments
A protest that started with a 15-year-old Swedish girl who refused to go to school unless politicians start “prioritizing the climate question” has snowballed into a global movement fueled by children who want their adults to take urgent action on the changing climate.
Up to 70,000 students have taken to the streets every week in 270 towns and cities all over the world to put pressure on their governments to take urgent steps to improve the climate situation.
She delivered a forthright speech expressing her frustration on the political inaction on climate change during the UN COP 24 climate talks in Katowice, Poland in December 2018. “You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes…We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis,” she said.
Thunberg inspired a global school strike day on 15 March in cities and towns in Australia under the banner School Strikes 4 Climate, organized by school children striking from school for a safe climate future.
“Some people say that we should be in school instead, but why should we be studying for a future that soon will be no more?” Thunberg said on a video she released on her Facebook Page inviting other students to join the strike.
Addressing global leaders in Davos, Switzerland during the World Economic Forum in January 2019, she minced no words and expressed her frustration anew. “I often hear adults say: ‘We need to give the next generation hope’,” she concluded. “But I don’t want your hope. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I do. Every day. And want you to act. I want you to behave like our house is on fire. Because it is.”
Isaiah 3:5, 12
5. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.
12. As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.