Nothing is possible without action, and almost anything is when we rise up together, as you are today
‘The real lessons of history is that change often comes in unpredictable ways.’ Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA
I want to say to all the climate strikers today: thank you so much for being unreasonable. That is, if reasonable means playing by the rules, and the rules are presumed to be guidelines for what is and is not possible, then you may be told that what you are asking for is impossible or unreasonable. Don’t listen. Don’t stop. Don’t let your dreams shrink by one inch. Don’t forget that this might be the day and the pivotal year when you rewrite what is possible.
What climate activists are asking for is a profound change in all our energy systems, for leaving fossil fuel in the ground, for taking action adequate to the planet-scale crisis of climate change. And the rules we are so often reminded of by those who aren’t ready for change are not the real rules. Because one day last summer a 15-year-old girl sat down to stage a one-person climate strike, and a lot of adults would like to tell you that the rules say a 15-year-old girl cannot come out of nowhere, alone, and change the world.
They will tell you the rules are that those we see in the news and the parliaments and boardrooms hold all the power and you must be nice to them and perhaps they will give you crumbs, or the time of day, or just a door slammed in your face. They will tell you that things can only change in tiny increments by predictable means. They’re wrong. Sometimes you don’t have to ask for permission or for anything because you hold the power and you yourselves decide which way the door swings. Nothing is possible without action; almost anything is when we rise up together, as you are doing today. MORE
Last Friday, Greta Thunberg, Greta Thunberg, United States of America.Protests were organized in Montreal, Ottawa, and Vancouver, among others.
Speaking to delegates from the 195 countries represented at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), Greta spoke for youth from across the world when she said:“You say you love your children above all else , and yet you are stealing their future in front of their eyes “, prompting them to take action.
The message is clear, the future of young people is in danger.
The NDP heard you and we will fight with you! SOURCE
We are among the young people striking against climate change in every corner of the globe – adults should join us too
‘This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice.’ Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
It started in front of the Swedish parliament, on 20 August – a regular school day. Greta Thunberg sat with her painted sign and some homemade flyers. This was the first school climate strike. Fridays wouldn’t be regular schooldays any longer. The rest of us, and many more alongside us, picked it up in Australia, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, New Zealand, Uganda. Today the climate strike will take place all around the world.
This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice. We knew there was a climate crisis. Not just because forests in Sweden or in the US had been on fire; because of alternating floods and drought in Germany and Australia; because of the collapse of alpine faces due to melting permafrost and other climate changes. We knew, because everything we read and watched screamed out to us that something was very wrong.
That first day of refusing to go to school was spent alone, but since then a movement of climate strikers has swept the globe. Today young people in more than 100 countries will walk out of class to demand action on the greatest threat humankind has ever faced.
These strikes are happening today – from Washington DC to Moscow, Tromsø to Invercargill, Beirut to Jerusalem, and Shanghai to Mumbai – because politicians have failed us. We’ve seen years of negotiations, pathetic deals on climate change, fossil fuel companies being given free rein to carve open our lands, drill beneath our soils and burn away our futures for their profit. We’ve seen fracking, deep sea drilling and coalmining continue. Politicians have known the truth about climate change and they’ve willingly handed over our future to profiteers whose search for quick cash threatens our very existence. MORE
Students walked out of school to gather on the south lawn of Queens Park in Toronto to rally for climate change on March 15, 2019. Photo by Carlos Osorio
Twelve-year-old Roy Bateman already knows what he’d say if he met Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
“I wouldn’t go up and scream in his face,” he says matter-of-factually. “I would ask him why he’s not taking climate action. Why he cancelled cap and trade and why he thinks this is good.”
Bateman pauses. “If he replies with ‘economy’ as the reason, I’d ask if he was thinking short-term or long-term. Because I think his answer would be short- term.”
“He just doesn’t get it. There are no jobs on a dead planet.”
Batemen was one of thousands of Canadian students striking Friday with a global call for action on climate change. They join thousands of their peers in more than 100 countries, led by the now Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Greta Thunberg.
Many of them had been preparing for weeks, doing their own research so that they could understand and speak to the rest of the population about specific topics such as carbon pricing and the UN’s recent dire warnings in a scientific assessment that said the world had less than 12 years to take action needed to avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change. MORE
Greta Thunberg, 15, holds a placard reading ‘School strike for the climate’, during a protest outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm last November. Photograph: Hanna Franzen/EPA
Greta Thunberg, the founder of the Youth Strike for Climate movement, has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize, just before the biggest day yet of global action.
Thunberg began a solo protest in Sweden in August but has since inspired students around the globe. Strikes are expected in 1,659 towns and cities in 105 countries on Friday, involving hundreds of thousands of young people.
“We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict and refugees,” said Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy André Øvstegård. “Greta Thunberg has launched a mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace.”
National politicians and some university professors can nominate candidates for the Nobel peace prize, which will be awarded in December. There are 301 candidates for the 2019 prize: 223 individuals and 78 organisations. MORE
Greta Thunberg … ‘I have always been that girl in the back who doesn’t say anything.’ Photograph: Michael Campanella/The Guardian
Greta Thunberg cut a frail and lonely figure when she started a school strike for the climate outside the Swedish parliament building last August. Her parents tried to dissuade her. Classmates declined to join. Passersby expressed pity and bemusement at the sight of the then unknown 15-year-old sitting on the cobblestones with a hand-painted banner.
Eight months on, the picture could not be more different. The pigtailed teenager is feted across the world as a model of determination, inspiration and positive action. National presidents and corporate executives line up to be criticised by her, face to face. Her skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for climate) banner has been translated into dozens of languages. And, most striking of all, the loner is now anything but alone.
On March 15, when she returns to the cobblestones (as she has done almost every Friday in rain, sun, ice and snow), it will be as a figurehead for a vast and growing movement. The global climate strike this Friday is gearing up to be one of the biggest environmental protests the world has ever seen. As it approaches, Thunberg is clearly excited.
“It’s amazing,” she says. “It’s more than 71 countries and more than 700 places, and counting. It’s increasing very much now, and that’s very, very fun.” MORE
The nationwide rally for gun laws takes place March 24. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images
I was asked last week for International Women’s Day who was inspiring me in 2019. My answer was a 16-year-old Swedish girl. If you don’t know the name Greta Thunberg, she’s the schoolgirl behind the fast-growing student movement, supporters of which are striking every Friday to highlight how much our governments are effectively sticking their fingers in their ears and humming every time anyone asks what we’re doing about our growing environmental crisis.
The American movement Sunrise is on the same track. Students are leading the way in challenging their congresswomen and men on their environmental records and commitments. It’s easy to roll your eyes and talk about how that won’t change anything, but in the age of global instant communication, individuals have more clout than ever. Arguably, the Parkland survivors and March For Our Livesorganisers have done more to highlight gun violence and hold lawmakers to account than decades of failed policies. MORE
Old and young must unite to form Generation S – a force to combat corporate gigantism and to shape cultural and social revolutions.
The world witnessed the rise of the Greta Thunberg-led revolt against the climate crisis by school-age teenagers across the world in 2018. From within what popular media call Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2012) a young woman has emerged as a global leader.
Now, hundreds of thousands within Gen Z have responded to Greta’s leadership and have created a global social movement, School Strike 4 Climate.
It is no exaggeration to say that within Gen Z there is now the vanguard of a global movement challenging all the forces that are causing humans to commit climacide and ecocide. In addition, our wise teenagers now know that the climate crisis is an integral part of a much bigger crisis.
In my forthcoming book, Earth Emotions, I make the case for a generational change where the post-baby boomer generations unite to form a new social movement.
I call this united movement, Generation Symbiocene or Gen S. Gen S will lead the rest of humanity into the Symbiocene.
In the essay, After the Anthropocene, recently published in this journal, I made the case for a new epoch in human history: the Symbiocene. The Symbiocene is a meme that represents the very opposite of the period of human dominance known as the Anthropocene.
The new meme has been created to achieve nothing less than complete change of the biophysical and emotional foundations of society from the ecocidal to the symbiotic, from the destructive to the nurturing.
While the Anthropocene is generating despair and desolation, the Symbiocene gives generously of hope and optimism.
The most urgent tasks for Gen S will be to protest and fight against gigantism. By gigantism, I mean the dictatorial governments of nation states and corporate rulers that exercise authoritarian and totalitarian control over almost all aspects of our lives. MORE
A massive, international, youth-led mobilization will demand action on the climate crisis.
Mad as hell: Greta Thunberg is not letting leaders get away with inaction on the climate crisis. (Christian Charisius / Picture-Alliance / dpa / AP Images)
Beware the Ides of March, all you climate wreckers out there. The Climate Kids are coming, in massive and growing numbers, and they are not in the mood to negotiate. They know that you—whether you’re a fossil-fuel executive, a politician who takes fossil-fuel money, or a Fox News hack who recycles fossil-fuel lies—have put their future in grave danger, and they are rising up to take it back.
On March 15, tens of thousands of high-school and middle-school students in more than 30 countries plan to skip school to demand that politicians treat the global climate crisis as the emergency it is. Shakespeare made the Ides of March famous with his soothsayer’s warning in Julius Caesar, but ancient Romans actually saw it as a day for settling debts. What bigger debt is there than the theft of a livable future? At the March 15 School Strike 4 Climate, young people will call in that debt and, in the United States at least, demand real solutions in the form of the Green New Deal championed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. MORE
A Swedish schoolgirl has taken her environmental fight to France.
Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg is spearheading student strikes against inaction on global warming.
She joined hundreds of others at a protest in Paris.
It was Paris that was the host city for the signing of the climate accords. But President Emmanuel Macron, besieged by yellow vest protestors, dropped his plans to raise the price of fuel to combat greenhouse gas emissions after the protests that swept across the nation.