Millions of young people around the world marched on Sept. 27 to protest their governments’ inaction on climate change.
“Entire ecosystems are collapsing … and all you can talk about is the money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?” That is the message sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg brought to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23.
Thunberg was referring to many political leaders who, instead of working together to fix global warming, are focussing on how limiting pollution could negatively affect businesses and economies.
That speech, in part, has galvanized young people and others around the world. They took to the streets in the millions to raise awareness of the serious nature of the problem, and to tell governments to do something about it.
Thunberg, who is from Sweden, inspired the Friday rallies, one of which also took place on Friday, Sept. 20.
“And we will keep on doing this until they listen,” she told hundreds of thousands of marchers in Montreal.
“My message to all the politicians is the same–to just listen to the science. Act on the science,” Thunberg said at an event before the march.
More than 140 marches were held in Canada; hundreds of marches were also held in the United States, the United Kingdom and in other countries. Many school boards around the world gave permission for students to have the day off, to march in the protest.
People also took to social media, posting photos using hashtags like #FridaysforFuture, #schoolstrike and #climatestrike.
THINKING AND DISCUSSION PROMPTS
Just over a year ago, Greta Thunberg decided to protest against government inaction on climate change. She didn’t have anyone to join her. In August 2018 she sat, alone, outside Sweden’s parliament, to raise awareness of the problems. Eventually, others heard about her and decided to help. A year later, she has sparked a global movement as students around the world have taken up the cause against climate change.
Look at the two photos below, taken about a year apart. How do you think Greta Thunberg felt then, and how do you think she feels now? What has changed? What has stayed the same? What do you think will happen a year from now?
This was taken in August 2018, outside Sweden’s parliament building:
This photo of Greta Thunberg was taken a little over a year later, at European Parliament.
Below is the video of Greta Thunberg addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23, 2019.
Thunberg’s speech was also published in The Guardian newspaper: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/23/world-leaders-generation-climate-breakdown-greta-thunberg
Images and a timeline of the Climate March in Montreal, from the Montreal Gazette.