This is a universal movement, a collective cry, a moan proclaimed by the youngest, who see the governments’ inaction as an injustice to which they are subjected, and they’re fighting to stop it.
Global temperatures don’t stop rising every year because of climate change, with negative consequences for everyone. What has happened among the world’s youth? How have they decided to address the issue? Did not the elderly say that young people today did not get involved?
Origings of the movement
It all began a few months ago, when Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish girl started a protest in her country’s parliament, worried about the degradation of the planet and the doom scenarios for the future of the world.
Last August, Greta decided that she wouldn’t go back to school until there were real changes from the Government institutions. Feeling helpless and frustrated by the lack of attention from “the elderly” to the threat of global warming, she stood in front of the Parliament with great conviction, and settled there with a backpack full of books, sandwiches, and water. “School strike for the climate”, so says the sign that she had made at home.
GRETA DECIDED THAT SHE WOULDN’T GO BACK TO SCHOOL UNTIL THERE WERE REAL CHANGES FROMA THE GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS.
At first, she was alone in her struggle, but soon more youngsters who identified with the cause joined her throughout the world. Thus, what started with a personal impulse has now become the beginning of an international youth movement. Since last summer, tens of thousands of students from Australia to Uganda, from the United States to Japan, have joined her proposal, which is no longer hers, but everyone’s.
#FridaysForFuture is how this phenomenon has been named, that goes in crescendo and incorporates every day more and more people of the planet. Undoubtedly, this has just begun, and we have that feeling due to figures such as those that have been recently published in different media.
#Fridaysforfuture in figures
In Belgium, at the end of January, more than 30,000 students left their lessons in order to join the cause. “Before I started, I didn’t expect anything”, Thunberg says to the media. “I could have never imagined this reaction. It’s crazy”, she admits.
IN BELGIUM, AT THE END OF JANUARY, MORE THAN 30,000 STUDENTS LEFT THEIR LESSONS IN ORDER TO JOIN THE CAUSE.
But regardless of her statements of bewilderment, Greta is in no doubt when she talks about her commitment to the cause. Her values, strength, faith, and perhaps fear of the coming conditions caused by human impact have led her to places like the UN Climate Change Summit 2019, held in Poland last December and where she spoke plainly to the world leaders, with the boldness natural to a teenager.
There has been no rest since then – Greta Thunberg’s movement has resulted in this #FridaysForFuture, an international movement that is earning a position in Europe and the rest of the world, stronger every day.
YOUNG PEOPLE’S POWER, THE ENGINE FOR CHANGE
And what about the historical context in which #FridaysForFuture takes place? Are young people tired of so many promises and so few solutions? What made them reach this point of no return?
The answer to this question is concise and easy: a flood of warnings about the planet that are becoming increasingly terrible. Global temperatures rise dangerously and so does the volume of water in the oceans. “Change is on the horizon, but to see that change we also have to change ourselves”, Greta stated to national media. And the change goes through climate justice.
EVERY FRIDAY, THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS HAVE BEEN JOINING WHAT ARE KNOWN AS CLIMATE STRIKES OR #FridaysForFuture.
Months of student mass mobilizations, especially in Europe, leave no one indifferent: 75,000 people in Brussels (Belgium), more than 10,000 in The Hague (Netherlands), and 30,000 in Berlin (Germany), among other countries and cities.
Young people are defending their right to live in dignity and to access to natural resources provided by the land, but adults are continuously destroying them. Challenging governments and large corporations without environmental awareness is their only goal. They aim to save the planet through a consolidated worldwide network that increase global awareness.