The Faces of the Global Climate Strike Movement

Climate change can’t be ignored anymore. Every year we see an increase in deaths directly related to climate change from flooding to heat waves. Young people are inheriting a planet that is facing mass extinction due to the damage previous generations have done to the planet and the “kids” these days aren’t going to take it. These educated youth are standing up and demanding policies to protect the environment now because those policy changes should have happened before they were even born.

Good for these people standing up and demanding that we have clean air and water for years to come.

Aina Koide, 21, Tokyo, Japan

“Why don’t we cooperate to protect nature from climate change? It would be the first time all people on the Earth united together.”

What have you learned from taking part in the strikes? I realised how negative the image of strikes and protests are in Japan. But I also saw plenty of students who are eager to take action to save the Earth. Can you talk about the idea of climate justice? It means that we need to consider developing countries, future generations and non-human creatures, instead of just focusing on developed countries. Developed countries like Japan should take responsibility. What’s the strike movement like in Japan? Is it growing? At the first action only 20 people participated, but at the second one 130 people were there. It’s still much smaller than other countries but it’s growing and we now gather not only in Tokyo but also in Kyoto. It’s becoming bigger and bigger. For the second gathering we walked around Shibuya so I think the #FridaysForFuture movement has become better known. How does climate change currently affect Japan? In 2018, a heat wave swept the country from July to September, resulting in more than 80,000 people being taken to hospital and many people died. In western Japan, torrential rains killed at least 100 people. These events made me realise that climate change undoubtedly affects this country.

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Worried About Mass Extinction? Kill Your Lawn

A UN report released today reveals that 1 million species are threatened with extinction thanks to human actions (as in you). The most effective thing we can do is vote out politicians who hate the future, but that takes time and we need to act now. Immediately you can stop buying from water-destroying corporations like Nestle or, if you own a lawn, kill it. This might seem like an odd idea at first; however, once you stop and think about what a lawn is you will find that they are bad for the planet.

Seriously, if you want to stop the mass die off of species and you own land then make that land supportive of local species instead of a monument to human hubris.

A lawn filled with native plants provides habitat for animals, from insects to birds and everything in between. A lawn that’s used to produce food could feed your family, boost neighborhood-level community, and provide jobs (if you don’t have a green thumb). When you run the numbers, it turns that almost anything is better than a grass lawn — except pavement.

My lawn’s days as a grass-based environmental scourge are numbered. I have big plans for my outdoor area: Fruit trees, garden space, native plants. It’s small enough that this project should be manageable, even for a single parent with two small kids.

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Students Don’t Want the Planet as-is

The kids these days aren’t alright with the world they’re inheriting. Many of the homes kids are growing up in will be under water if climate change continues at its current pace. Students who aren’t on the coast will still face extreme weather and crop shortages. Understandably, kids these days aren’t happy about this and want the situation to change. Inspired by reality, and the very determined Greta Thunberg, students are taking to the streets to let their parents, the olds, and politicians that this generation isn’t going to take it.

The posters students held up advertised statistics about the environmental impact of consumerism (including the grim fact that just 100 companies are to blame for large portions of global emissions), as well as slogans conveying their frustrations with inheriting a mess. “You mind if I breathe?” one read; “All we want is a future” said another.

“The onus is being placed on young people who don’t even have that much money or power to do things,” Rubin said. “People in power are the ones who should be doing something not regular kids – it shouldn’t be up to us to save the world, but it is.”

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Documentaries can Change the World

If you enjoy documentaries you might be changing the world. Documentaries change conversations around important issues and some are so effective at doing so that they make a real-world impact beyond the audience. By bringing issues to light these films raise awareness to problems that we as a society can solve, sometimes the solutions are complex (like Inside Job) and other times they are easier to argue for (like banning the capture and torture of whales). If you want to make the world a better place then go watch some documentaries and tell your friends about it.

Two Columbia University staffers appeared in this exposé of the 2008 financial crisis: Economist/professor Frederic Mishkin and Business School dean Glenn Hubbard. Both men were less than transparent about their professional connections to the finance world. The film reveals that Mishkin wrote a paper about Iceland’s economy without disclosing the $124,000 he’d received from the country’s chamber of commerce. Hubbard, meanwhile, grew combative when questioned about his many consulting clients. A few months after Inside Job’s release, Columbia released much stricter disclosure rules for faculty who work with Wall Street, and the economics department chair credited the movie (which won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2011) as a driving force.

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Today: Students Striking for the Climate

Around the world students are taking the streets today to let people know that they want to live on a planet without cataclysmic climate change. Previous generations neglected to act to prevent global warming and it’s the current youth who are going to have to deal with the destruction of the global ecosystem. They are demanding all of us, particularly those in power, to change the destructive course we are presently on.

Good for these students for getting out there and making sure that adults everywhere know that these kids aren’t going to let the planet be killed through negligence.

By 10.30am a steady stream of schoolchildren were pouring into London’s Parliament Square brandishing homemade banners declaring “coral not coal”, “Stop denying the earth is dying” and “why the actual fuck are we studying for a future we won’t even have?”

Among were a group of 12 and 13 year old girls from Waldergrave School for girls. Lourdes, 13, who was with her dad Leif Cid said they felt they had no choice but to come. “The world is getting hotter and hotter but the adults, the politicians aren’t doing anything about it … we have to do something.”

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