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 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.”
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.”
Across Europe students and teachers are standing up to negligent leaders who ignore climate change. Last week in Belgium students took to the streets and their movement forced the resignation of a minister while inspiring other students to act across the continent. This week, teachers and students protested in the UK calling for education reforms around climate change. You’ve probably heard of the Extinction Rebellion movement already, if not now’s your chance to get educated and start rising up faster than global water levels.
They are also unhappy that part of the curriculum appears to cast doubt on the evidence for man-made climate change, even though governments, the UN and the overwhelming majority of scientists accept that it is happening. Government guidelines for key stage 4 chemistry say pupils should be taught “evidence, and uncertainties in evidence, for additional anthropogenic causes of climate change”.
“When we have had the evidence for decades, why does it amount to little more than a footnote in our national curriculum – a vague and marginal concern?” asks the letter. “If we keep this information out of the public domain – out of schools, for example – perhaps we might avoid some awkward conversations in the years to come … after all, who wants to tell a child that, unless we make unprecedented changes to how we live, we are heading for societal collapse, famine, war and the increasing likelihood of human extinction?”
‘Protesting it pointless’ is a refrain heard around the world by people who disavow public displays of disaffection. For the most part the idea of protesting being useless comes from the people in power who don’t want to be protested (or even questioned). This is evident when it comes to the thin-skinned president of the United States. President Trump has cancelled his trip to London because he’s worried that people will protest his presence.
He has apparently, in a recent telephone call to the prime minister, declared that he does not want to come if there are to be large-scale protests. The visit, we are told, is on hold.
Some may be surprised by this. From the violence and menace that became features of his ugly campaign, it was easy to assume that he liked a bit of edge at his public appearances. But on those occasions, he knew he would always have the support of far-right thugs and hangers-on who could drown out dissent and, if need be, throw a few punches at protesters, passers-by, anyone who would dare to question him. That intimidation, unprecedented in recent history, would have been more difficult to replicate here; he could hardly bring his street fighters with him. There are only so many seats on Air Force One.
Maybe he didn’t fancy the trip without Theresa there to hold his hand; to keep him strong and stable, as it were. Even he might blanch – all the way from Tango orange to the whitest white – at the idea of skipping through the Downing Street rose garden hand in hand with Phil the spreadsheet Hammond or Boris Johnson.
Many people are troubled with the state of global politics and maybe you’re one of those bothered people. What are you going to do about it?
Over at Grist they have a simple guide to being an effective activist for your cause (and I’m sure it’s a good one!). In order to be effective you just need to follow through on your actions. Basically, sharing news on Facebook won’t save the world but going out into the world and talking to the right people will.
Put events on your calendar. Commit to things, and then follow through on them. Even if it’s bringing a pie to a potluck that’s being held to spread awareness of a new transit initiative — just do it. Make the pie. Showing up is more than half the battle. According to Trauss: “All local political scenes are dying for competent participants.”
Pick up the phone — and make the meeting
It’s been said 100 times, but the relatively simple act of calling and/or meeting with your elected official gets a lot of mileage. Joanne Carney of the American Association for the Advancement of Science offers this reminder: “Members of Congress do spend time back in their districts, and they have district offices — and sometimes they’re a little bit more relaxed. So requesting opportunities to meet with [them] when they’re in the district sometimes can be very fruitful.”