#FridaysForFuture, the younger generations strike back

#FridaysForFuture, the younger generations strike back

March 14, 2019

#FridaysForFuture, the younger generations strike back

The movement inspired by the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg will tomorrow call upon young people from all over the world to champion the urgency of concrete initiatives which can have a real impact against climate change and in favour of environmental sustainability

Tomorrow 15 March, in over 1,300 places around the world (in almost 100 different countries), schoolchildren will participate in public demonstrations to call upon adults to act forcefully against climate change. This mobilisation is a unique event, especially considering the average age of those taking part... ranging from childrens’ schools until the beginning of University. Schoolchildren on a global level have astonished the world by the way they are responding, because they know that not one more moment should be wasted.

Greta, the figurehead

The #FridaysForFuture (https://www.fridaysforfuture.org/) movement was launched only a few months ago, in August 2018, inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old Swedish girl. Ever since last September, every Friday Greta has staged a vigil in front of the Swedish Parliament, to protest against the lack of concrete action against climate change. Greta has a moving personal history, having suffered from a form of selective mutism since childhood, which she has overcome thanks to her commitment to the cause of climate change.

Greta has a moving personal history, featuring a form of selective mutism since childhood, which she has overcome thanks to her commitment to the cause of climate change.

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She has thus become the testimonial of a campaign that seems to gain strength day by day and whose proponents wish to continue their protest until measures have been implemented to enforce the containment of global warming to less than the 2°C increase foreseen by the Paris agreement. Her example is even more impressive due to the fact that Greta Thunberg has practiced what she preaches by adopting the kind of principles of necessary to reduce human impact on the climate: she is vegan, she no longer travels by plane, only by train, and tries to keep all unnecessary consumption to a minimum.

The future of the planet, our future, is at risk”, she has declared. “We just can't wait for my generation to take power: it will be too late for the Earth. Today’s adults must act now. We are sawing through the branch on which we are sitting.

An opportunity for the world of education

In many countries, especially in Northern Europe, school authorities have officially joined the protest: the pupils are allowed to take to the streets without their absence from school being counted against them. Elsewhere, including Italy, mobilisation is left to the free choice of individuals.

For schools, and in general for the world of education, this is a wonderful opportunity to bring the theme of climate change and environmental sustainability into the classroom. Young people are always ready to get involved in the first person, and this moment is ideal for them to grasp the theoretical and practical knowledge to make their actions more effective.

In Italy, educational materials produced by BCFN are available to all teachers, in the context of the project Noi, il cibo e il nostro pianeta aimed at children of all ages, from primary school to high school. Through multimedia and interactive tools, this project puts food in relation with the environment, health, society and migration, and explains how the construction of a balanced relationship between environment, food, natural resources and the needs of human beings is fundamental for achieving the United Nations’ Goals of Sustainable Development. 

The #FridaysForFuture movement declares that the youngest generations are fundamental drivers for achieving this vital goal. They know that it’s time to act, and act urgently… will adults be capable of listening to the wisdom of children?

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