The climate strike changes the prospects for the future

The climate strike changes the prospects for the future

March 19, 2019

The climate strike changes the prospects for the future

Thanks to the enormous success of the worldwide mobilization of March 15th, also the adult world is called to action and asked to make the right decisions, because those who are protesting in the streets are the voters of tomorrow.

According to the organizers of the Global Strike for the Future, the climate strike promoted by Greta Thunberg and the Fridays For Future movement brought over a million students around the world, from Australia to Asia, from the United States to Europe, out into the streets. Not incidentally, immediately after the success of the initiative, the young promoter was officially nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Young people speaking with a single voice

From one place to another of the planet, the words pronounced by the young people were the same. “We are living in the sixth mass extinction. Ice is melting. Forests are burning. Waters are rising. And we do not even speak of it. Why?” asked Hanna Laga Abram, from Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of the young activists who demonstrated in the United States. “It’s not the time to ignore science in order to save our feelings. It is time to be terrified, enraged, heartbroken, grief-stricken, radical. It is time to act,” she declared during the demonstration.

She is echoed by the manifesto of the UK Student Climate Network, who brought thousands of people into the streets in London and other cities in Great Britain: “The climate is in crisis. We will be facing ecological catastrophe and climate breakdown in the very near future if those in power don’t act urgently and radically to change our trajectory. Scientists have been giving increasingly dire warnings about the state of our planet for years, with the urgency and severity of their message escalating in recent times. It’s abundantly clear: change is needed, and it’s needed now!

Italy mobilizes too

In Italy, the largest demonstration was without a doubt in Milan, where more than 100,000 students took to the streets. But also Rome, Florence, Bologna, and many other cities had a participation of young people that had not been seen for many years. The success of the demonstrations enabled the youth movement to access the major media outlets, including television, and therefore to see their demands amplified.

I read the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” remarked Bruno Fracasso, the first youth in Italy to create a local section (in Pisa) of the FridaysForFuture movement. “It says that we have only 12 years to save our future from climate change. I realized that I had to do something. And when I saw Greta go on strike from school to attract attention to the climate, I thought it would also be a possible solution for us here in Italy”. He was echoed by Francesca Savi, member of the association “Statale a impatto zero”, established within the university sphere. “The decision to be environmentalists is in fact a political choice. It means being against a certain model of production that has brought the planet to the state in which we now find it,” he stated from the screens of the RAI, the Italian State television. “There’s always the risk of being manipulated, so it’s important for us to stay outside the political parties and alignments in order to focus on the problem.

Policy must take this into account

Following the demonstrations, Greta Thunberg tweeted: “We are only seeing the beginning.” And the experts agree with her. “We are the last generation to have a realistic chance to prevent a climate catastrophe,” said the spokesperson for the Global Strike for the Future movement, Linus Steinmetz. “If adults won't comply with the rules, we won't either.

Sociologists were amazed, as well, and confirm that March 15, 2019 marks a historic date in the climate movement.

What has impressed me is how qualitatively different the recent upsurge in grassroots activism feels – not just in volume, but in the radical form it's taking,” commented Doug McAdams, Professor of Sociology at Stanford University, who has just published a study that analyzes the lack of grassroots activism on climate change by adults in the United States. “Global warming will emerge as a key issue in the 2020 elections.” 

And then there is Sebastien Treyer, Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations in Paris: “The fact that this movement is led by the younger generations changes the political landscape. They are tomorrow's voters.

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