When history looks back on this moment in time, will it think badly of the #FridaysforFuture youth school strikers, taking to the streets to protest government’s inaction on the Climate Crisis? 17-year-old Anna Taylor of the UK Student Climate Network doesn’t think so.
Anna believes, like Greta Thunberg, that history will judge most harshly the politicians and global corporate executives who shut their eyes and closed their ears to the science of climate change and failed to rise to the occasion to counteract the threat of rising temperatures and rising seas.
Sea levels aren't all that's rising. The youth of UK’s Student Climate Network and Youth Strike for Climate movement are rising too. They don't intend to give up until the definition of what is politically possible aligns with what is scientifically necessary to save our planet. And their futures.
It started with one person. Greta refused to go to school in a symbolic gesture that communicated, Why should I prepare for a future that is right now being taken away?
Greta’s singular action rose the awareness of students all over Sweden, whose reactions spread to other youth in other European cities, whose protests jumped oceans to all seven continents. Youth Strike for Climate Change is now a global movement.
The tipping point, notes Anna, was when Australian students joined Greta to walk out of school in solidarity with the planet. “That’s when I realized the UK students needed to pay attention.”
During the week of 15 March 2019, 20,000 UK kids, from Cornwall to the Highlands, joined 1.6 million student strikers in over 2000 places in more than 125 countries.
"We don’t want to just play truant. We feel this is the only way to make our voices heard,” Anna told @camanpour. She and her mates have 4 stated demands for the UK government:
declare a state of climate emergency and take active steps toward achieving climate justice;
reform the UK national curriculum to accurately portray the severity of the crisis;
honestly communicate to the general public the severity of the crisis;
incorporate youth views into policy making and bring the voting age down to 16.