The 16-year-old’s lone protest last summer has morphed into a powerful global movement challenging politicians to act.
The 16-year-old welcomed the huge mobilisation planned in the UK, which follows demonstrations by tens of thousands of school and university students in Australia, Belgium, Germany, the United States, Japan and more than a dozen other countries.
With an even bigger global mobilisation planned for 15 March, she feels the momentum is now building.
“I think enough people have realised just how absurd the situation is. We are in the middle of the biggest crisis in human history and basically nothing is being done to prevent it. I think what we are seeing is the beginning of great changes and that is very hopeful,” she wrote.
Thunberg has risen rapidly in prominence and influence. In December, she spoke at the United Nations climate conference, berating world leaders for behaving like irresponsible children.
Last month, she had similarly harsh words for the global business elite at Davos. She said: “Some people, some companies, some decision-makers in particular, have known exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money. And I think many of you here today belong to that group of people.”
The movement she started has morphed and grown around the world , and, at times, linked up with older groups, including Extinction Rebellion, 350.org and Greenpeace.
Switzerland has seen some of the biggest actions. Local activists said 23,000 joined the strike on 18 January, followed by 65,000 on 2 February. They too are preparing for the global demonstration on 15 March. They want the government to immediately declare a climate state of emergency, implement policies to be zero-carbon by 2030 without geo-engineering, and if necessary move away from the current economic system.
The global strike on 15 March is expected to be the biggest yet with mobilisations in 150 cities. “It is not acceptable that grown-ups are destroying the future right now,” said Jakob Blasel, a high-school student. “Our goal to stop coal power in Germany and fossil energy everywhere.” He said politicians have expressed admiration for their campaign, but this has not translated into action. “This is not acceptable. We won’t stop until they start acting.”
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.