When it comes to climate change, a lot can be done to prevent its effects on the Earth. The unfortunate issue is there are many things that can be done; it won’t be to the degree needed to make a change. The reason for this is bureaucracy, the public administration, or “the powers that be”. The people chosen represent our communities, mayors, governors, congressmen and women, may not be able to push environmental awareness as much as others. As new bills are proposing new legislations to protect ecosystems, they most likely get turned down because it may not suit the current needs of the consensus. Others believe that our own representative takes advantage of their positions and decides to turn down bills that provide environmental conservation, at the same time they receive benefits from corporate powers that use landscapes to further industrialize. Whatever the case may be, the youths of the world have taken actions to make their voices heard when it comes to their future and state of climate change.
Why is it important for the youth to understand what climate change is and how it affects the earth? If you were to ask a child about the topic of climate change, you would be surprised to hear the answer. Thanks to their teachers, children are introduced to climate change via films such as “An Inconvenient Truth” and “The Great Global Warming Swindle”. They are left to draw their own conclusions on how they feel about the topic. The general understanding is that “we’re putting stuff into our atmosphere that isn’t great, and it’s undeniable that the climate is changing. However, whether humans are the cause, that’s a bit more open to interpretation.” That much is understood by young people, and 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is underway and human activity is the primary cause of it. However, even though, it is a fact that many supports the change in climate change, it is not the same as political consensus. For as long as it has been, the Republican party has had an adamant rejection of the link between human activity and climate change. Due to this, children and teens went on a strike in hopes to send a message to “the powers that be”.
Greta Thunberg, a young Swedish girl, has a passion for climate change. Although she is timid and introverted, she took it upon herself to take on her countries politicians and demand positive reforms towards the climate change situation. Soon after, the movement sparked a worldwide phenomenon where students skipped class and marched on city streets to have their voices heard. “#FridaysForFuture is a movement that began in August 2018, after 15 years old Greta Thunberg sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis. She posted what she was doing on Instagram and Twitter and it soon went viral. One of the Washington’s younger protesters, Nadia Nazar spoke about the movement, “We’re the first generation that’s being significantly affected by climate change, and the last generation that can do something about it..” “..We’re fighting for our lives, for people all over the world who are being affected, for ecosystems and environments that have been here for millions and millions of years and are being devastated by our actions over only the past few decades.” In a October 2018 report by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) warns that with the lack of international coordination to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, the earth is certain to warm up by 1.5° Celsius (2.7° Fahrenheit) and that the repercussions would be potentially more dangerous than expected. The solution to this would be to have the emissions in check by the year 2030, which falls in the prime of the young protesters’ lives.
The youth of the world are more informed than what our politicians give them credit for. Government officials are more interested in the modern day, than the years that follow. The youth see this and are willing to do the research, get informed, and take a stand. They want to secure a future where they can achieve their dreams and not be burdened by mistakes of the past. It is their world as well, and they want to protect it as much or even more so than the adults in power now.