Youth Strike for a Greener Future
By Carissa Herb
Thousands of students put down their textbooks and picked up their signs to come out and strike worldwide over the lack of action taking place to create policy to prevent climate change and environmental destruction. It is no secret that climate change is a hot topic, similar to our ever rising global temperature, but our leaders still are denying us the only change that we want. We had high aspirations with the Paris Climate Accord in 2015 and were all shocked with the publication of the IPCC’s 2018 climate report, which warned us that if we go over a global temperature increase of 1.5 degrees celsius we would face catastrophic changes to our current environments. Yet, no serious action has been taken.
Donald Trump has failed to lead us in to the necessary transition that we need in order to build a sustainable future. Like coal and oil we need to bury his ideas as well as the rest of our nations climate deniers. We have run out of time and can no longer pretend that nothing is happening. Many would like to argue that climate change isn’t real and this is all a liberal agenda to take power away from political leaders and the wealthy one percenters. It’s true, the students showing up to strike on March 15th proved that we don’t give a damn about our coal and fossil fuel industry or the 1% for that matter. That we would rather live in a world with shiny solar panels than in a world that is exploiting our resources and our people.
There is no way to deny the facts that these extractions and industries are killing our earth.
Speaking to those present at the strike it was reassuring that they felt so passionately about change. These children are our future. They are going to be the ones calling the shots and voting in only a few short years.
Milo McBride, a passionate millennial and volunteer of Sunrise Movement, attended the event shared that the strike was “one of the more inspiring moments in [his] life. [He is] envious, as a millennial, that [our] generation was incapable of standing [up] like this”
Being a millennial myself it was hard to see how we have failed the younger generations. It doesn’t seem like the majority of previous generations share our guilt.
All the momentum from the strike can be traced back to one 16 year-old, Greta Thunberg, who’s first protest against a worldwide mindset is now a global platform being represented by Friday’s for Future. Thankfully, because of social media we have been able to join together globally to bring her initiative for a greener planet to life.
As we continue to follow Greta’s example we hope that the turn out from this global strike that took over 128 locations will be a wave of policy that protects or environment rather than a never ending wave of trash, which can be see washing upon the shores of the Philippines.
Concerned mother, Rahil, explained that “there should be more people [who care] and show people in government, in every country, that the earth is in danger and we should do something about climate change.” She also expressed how she believes that “our children are in danger [and] there should be more plans for the future”.
It is obvious that we have to start paying attention to the world around us and push through the never ending climate deniers. We need policies like the Green New Deal and infrastructure reform to start existing in a sustainable world with a sustainable economy that focuses on renewable sources of energy and product production. We also need to call out the separation amongst socio-economic classes and the fight to be sustainable. Minority groups and those below the poverty line are going to be the first to feel the negative effects of climate change. This is no longer a threat of the environment, but a threat against our people who have continuously been oppressed in more ways than one.
Whatever you want to call the environmental movement, let it be climate change, sustainable transitions, or anything else you decide to come up with, we can no longer afford to keep the change and the power within the wealthiest classes. We needed reform and we needed it yesterday.