#ClimateStrike: Thanks to Greta Thunberg, the kids are all right
Among the millions of people worldwide who marched in the Global Climate Strike, the majority by far were students and young people.
College students. High school students. Grade school students. They carried homemade signs with strong messages to adults who are failing to do their jobs to save the planet for generations to come.
“I’m missing my lessons to teach you some” was a common sentiment, along with messages seen at past rallies, such as “There is no Planet B” or “I can’t believe I have to march for science.” Some carried messages so in tune with teens that some older adults didn’t even get the references.
Climate activists estimate that more than 4 million people took part in climate strikes worldwide, with more than 2,500 events scheduled in over 163 countries on all seven continents. Yes, there was even a climate strike in Antarctica.
As a story on Vox put it, It “may end up being the largest mass protest for action on global warming in history.”
What was the motivation of all these protestors? Yes, some might have used the strike as an excuse to miss school, but their presence was so much more than that. More important, what was their inspiration?
Much of it boils down to a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who started her journey over a year ago with a one-person protest in front of the Swedish Parliament because lawmakers weren’t fulfilling their responsibilities to fight climate change. A year later, that one-person protest grew to 4 million, and it has governments the world over listening.
As John Pavlovitz wrote in his blog, Stuff That Needs To Be Said, We Are Greta Thunberg.
It’s likely that the rest of us will never be as motivated or as active as Greta. However much we believe in the dire need for individuals, companies, and governments to take serious action to fight global warming, it’s hard work. But it has to be done, and we all need to be a part of it. Polls suggest that climate change is now a top concern, along with fighting gun violence, for young voters.
As Pavlovitz concluded:
There are so many ways to move. Let your voice be heard. Take public transportation instead of driving whenever possible. Walk or ride a bike. Cut down on single-use plastic. Reduce, reuse, and recycle packaging — or refuse to accept it in the first place. Elect lawmakers with solid plans and outlines to to take climate action, such as the Green New Deal, even if not all of those ideas make it into law.
So, move. And VOTE.