Youth-Led Protest Calls for Action to Combat Climate Change
BY ALLISON KOZICHAROW; EDITED BY BERNICE BORN
(Archived story. Original version is here.)
“Our house is on fire — let’s act like it. We demand climate justice for everyone.” So say the world’s youth as they stage a week-long Global Climate Strike event September 20–27 to demand an end to the age of fossil fuels.
Students across our threatened Earth are walking out of school on September 20 to save the planet for their future and for future generations to come. Many school systems in New York City and elsewhere are giving permission for students to leave class, and companies from Amazon to Ben & Jerry’s plan to close their doors for part of the day in solidarity. During the week to come, more than 1,600 events are planned in at least 105 countries. The Climate Change Strike coincides with the United Nations Climate Action Summit, which takes place on September 23 in New York City.
The youth movement was begun by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teen aged 16, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome. Last October she submitted testimony to the U.S. Congress and told the lawmakers, “I don’t want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists. And then I want you to take real action.”
This global coalition of teen activists invites everyone to join them, asking, “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?” WiRED International urges everyone to follow our youth and take action to fight climate change.
WiRED on the Global Climate Strike
WiRED supports the Global Climate Strike, because evidence of the impact of climate change on human and animal health is overwhelming. All living things suffer directly from the changing climate, and to deny the evidence is irresponsible. We suffer from increasing heat and drought, food shortages, rising seas and floods. We face growing risks of vector-borne diseases, respiratory ailments, cancers and heart disease. WiRED’s mission is to improve global health, and we see the assault of climate change on human and animal health as an existential threat, especially in low-resource regions where we concentrate our efforts.
In spite of the overwhelming proof submitted by the world’s best scientists, many of our leaders foolishly deny climate change. Some take a perverse pleasure in promoting conditions that make the changing climate much worse. We’re at a loss how to reach these deniers, and so we support any effort to elevate this issue on the public agenda. The people, it seems, must lead. We can only hope that the Global Climate Strike will increase the concern of those who have rejected the science or chose to ignore the issue entirely.