The next time you think today’s kids only care about playing video games and posting selfies on Instagram, remember the day hundreds of thousands of kids around the world took to the streets to raise awareness of climate change.
On Friday, students protested the lack of action from adults on environmental issues with the #ClimateStrike walkouts.
Many were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who was just nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
Last year, Thunberg gave a popular TED Talk explaining why she walked out of school and organized a strike to raise awareness of global warming. She protested outside the Swedish parliament and in the process grabbed the world’s attention.
“The climate crisis has already been solved; we already have all the facts and solutions,” Thunberg said in the talk. “All we have to do is to wake up and change.”
Students inspired by Thunberg planned walkouts all over the globe Friday, including remote places like Antarctica. In a tweet, Thunberg said over 1 million people participated in 125 countries, citing numbers from climate action group 350.org.
Last year, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revealed inthat even if we meet the targets set by the Paris climate accord and stop our reliance on fossil fuels, the world faces serious impacts of climate change. So youth protests like #ClimateStrike could help remind the older generation that action needs to be taken.
“Today you are hearing from children all over the world,” teen activist Alexandria Villasenor told a crowd at the New York City climate strike protests. “We are telling you, we are trapped, and the time has come for you to turn the furnace off and save us all.”
With the #ClimateStrike hashtag trending on Twitter, teens and adults alike are sharing photos, videos and thoughts about the worldwide mass protests and calls to action.