High School Students Strike Worldwide Demanding Emergency Climate Action

“We’re not striking because we want adults to give us hope. We’re striking because we want them to panic, to act like we have the emergency that we have.” Greta Thunberg, March 15, 2019

Photo from Montreal, Quebec via Greta Thunberg@GretaThunberg

 

On every continent and in more than 125 countries, more than one million students in high schools and younger went on strike on Friday, March 15, 2019. There were more than 2,000 different protests. The first global school strike day is to be followed by persistent Friday school strikes, until governments and businesses everywhere take the emergency actions needed to avert the worst global warming results now projected by scientists.

Photo: Hordago@Hordago_org

The people of Earth only have 11 more years to avoid disastrous levels of global warming, according to a 2018 report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

In its newest report, The Living Planet Report 2018,  the World Wildlife Fund found that human beings have wiped out 60 percent of all mammals, birds, fish and reptiles on Earth since 1970.

 

Photo from Prague, Czech Republic via Greta Thunberg@GretaThunberg

The demands vary somewhat, from country to country. Students in the USA have issued these demands:

Our Demands

Green New Deal

  • An equitable transition for marginalized communities that will be most impacted by climate change

  • An equitable transition for fossil-fuel reliant communities to a renewable economy

  • 100% renewable energy by 2030

  • Upgrading the current electric grid

  • No creation of additional fossil fuel infrastructure (pipelines, coal plants, fracking etc.)

  • The creation of a committee to oversee the implementation of a Green New Deal

    • That has subpoena power

    • Committee members can’t take fossil fuel industry donations

    • Accepts climate science

A halt in any and all fossil fuel infrastructure projects

  • Fossil fuel infrastructure disproportionately impacts indigenous communities and communities of color in a negative way

  • Creating new fossil fuel infrastructure would create new reliance on fossil fuels at a time of urgency

 All decisions made by the government be based on the best-available and most-current scientific research.

  • The world needs to reduce GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2030, and by 100% before 2050.

  • We need to incorporate this fact into all policymaking

Declaring a National Emergency on Climate Change

  • This calls for a national emergency because we have only a few years to avoid catastrophic climate change.

  • Since the US has empirically been a global leader, we should be a leader on climate action

  • Since the US largely contributes to global GHG emissions, we should be leading the fight in GHG reduction

Compulsory comprehensive education on climate change and its impacts throughout grades K-8

  • K-8 is the ideal age range for compulsory climate change education because:

    • Impressionability is high during that developmental stage, therefore it’s easier for children and young adults to learn about climate change in a more in-depth manner, and retain that information

    • Climate change becomes a nonpartisan issue, as it truly is because it’s based solely on science from the beginning

Preserving our public lands and wildlife

  • Diverse ecosystems and national parks will be very impacted by climate change, therefore it’s important that we work to the best of our abilities to preserve their existence

Keeping our water supply clean

  • Clean water is essential for all living beings, when we pollute our water supply, or the water supply of someone else, it’s simply a violation of an essential human right

Youth strike for climate
Photo by Jamie Tehonica. Alexandria Villasenor, 13, California, United States.

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