These young people compose the first generation that bears little responsibility for the 410 parts per million concentration of carbon in the atmosphere, but will face most of the consequences from it. “We are all connected.”
Protestors fill the streets of Frankfurt, Germany for the World Climate Strike.Andreas Arnold/Zuma
In a remarkable display of global collective action, hundreds of thousands of people around the world skipped school and work on Friday to protest the lack of meaningful governmental action against climate change.
The Global Climate Strike, a youth-led movement that has partnered with environmental organizations around the world, scheduled the strike to take place three days before the United Nations 2019 Climate Action Summit. The protests began in Australia, where an estimated 100,000 people marched in Melbourne, with 80,000 more marching in Sydney and 30,000 in Brisbane, CNN reports. As Friday dawned in time zones across the world, cities from Mumbai to Nairobi to Berlin joined in what is expected to be the largest day of climate demonstrations in history.
Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist who first inspired students to skip school to protest climate change in August 2018, will join protestors in New York City, whose public school students were excused from class Friday and encouraged to join in the march.
In March, Mother Jones environmental reporter Rebecca Leber wrote about what is driving young people like Thunberg to take climate action:
These young people compose the first generation that bears little responsibility for the 410 parts per million concentration of carbon in the atmosphere, but will face most of the consequences from it. They’re coming of age when the window to ward off this nightmare scenario is rapidly shrinking. Many older adults have been warning for decades that “future generations” will suffer for our selfishness and inertia from continued inaction. Now, those so-called future victims are finding their voice to try and shape the agenda.
Friday’s Global Climate Strike, an extension of students’ Fridays for Future strikes around the world, is one result of the “future victims” finding their voice.