With a Green New Deal and Student Strikes for Climate, will young people save us yet?
By Mark Hertsgaard | January 28, 2019 | The Nation
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, is known for championing the #GreenNewDeal and schooling right-wing haters on Twitter. Thunberg, 16, is known for launching the #SchoolStrike4Climate movement—tens of thousands of high-school students worldwide are skipping school on Fridays until their governments treat the climate crisis as an emergency—and for torching billionaires and heads of state at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week.
Demolishing the convenient notion that we are all to blame for climate change, Thunberg told a Davos panel that included president Trump’s former chief economics adviser Gary Cohn, “Some people, some companies, some decision makers in particular have known exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money.” She paused before a final thrust of the knife: “I think many of you here today belong to that group of people.”
Call them the Climate Kids. Like Ocasio-Cortez and Thunberg themselves, the grassroots activist movements they have roused are comprised almost exclusively of teenagers and twenty-somethings. These are not your father’s environmentalists: supplicant, “realistic,” and accepting of failure. These young people are angry about the increasingly dire climate future awaiting them and clear-eyed about who’s to blame and how to fix it. And they seem to have the bad guys worried.
Continue reading at The Nation
Below is a repost of my article posted at Re-ENERGIZE Buffalo (Dec.16, 2018) along with an UPDATE:
Young Activist Condemns World's Inaction on Climate Change at U.N. Summit
She decided to take matters into her own hands.
With focus and poise beyond her years, Greta spoke truth to power in an audience of adults including U.N. officials and world government representatives at the recent Climate Summit (COP 24) in Poland. She cited inaction on climate change as a burden that adults are leaving on their children:
You say you love your children above all else, and yet you're stealing their future in front of their very eyes. Until you start focusing on what needs to be done, rather than its what is politically possible, there is no hope.Watch a short video of Greta's powerful and moving speech at the U.N. Climate Summit below:
Elsewhere, in a TEDx Talk, Greta said, "Yes, we do need hope, of course we do. But the one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere."
School Strike for the Climate:
The U.N. Summit speech was not Greta’s first climate action. Earlier this year, Greta demanded that her government in Sweden undertake a radical response to climate change. She protested for more than a month in Stockholm, sitting on the steps of the parliament building, every day during school hours for three weeks. She has returned to school for four days a week; she now spends her Fridays on the steps of parliament. Read more about Greta and what makes her special in The New Yorker
UPDATE: Greta was invited to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Here is part of Greta's message to Davos before leaving by train from Stockholm to Switzerland:
“Some people say that the climate crisis is something that we all have created. But that is just another convenient lie because if everyone is guilty then no one is to blame. And someone is to blame.Watch the video below and Listen to this articulate young human being:
Some people, some companies, and some decision-makers in particular have known exactly what priceless values they are sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money.
I want to challenge those companies and those decision makers into real and bold climate action. To set their economic goals aside and to safeguard the future living conditions for humankind.”
~ ~ ~
Greta's Speech at the World Economic Forum
Greta’s bottom line:
“I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”
Watch a short video of Greta’s speech and read the full text of her speech at The Guardian
School Strikes over Climate Change continue to Snowball:
Greta Thunberg, whose solo protest outside Sweden’s parliament has snowballed across the globe, will join a strike by Swiss school children in the Davos ski resort on Friday — the final day of the World Economic Forum. Read the report at Grist
Youth Climate Strike Coming to U.S. Next Month
|ZeroHour Climate March in Pittsburgh. Mark Dixon / Flickr / CC BY 2.0|
Ever since 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg called for the first global climate strike last month, it has become a weekly routine for students to skip class on Fridays to march for their futures and those of future generations.
Now, kids, teens and young adults in the U.S. will take their own action with support from environmental groups such 350.org, Extinction Rebellion and the Sunrise Movement, Earther reported.
"If we're not going to have a future, then school won't matter any more," one of the organizers, 13-year-old New Yorker Alexandria Villasenor, told Earther about why American students should join the strike next month.
"I prepared all week for this and realized climate change will force us to live differently and deal with more extreme weather. People are dying right now, and we need to #ActOnClimate!" she tweeted.
Climate strikes have taken place in cities around Europe, Australia and elsewhere. The fourth straight rally in Brussels on Jan. 31 drew as many as 35,000 student participants.
The youngsters are demanding their leaders and older generations take immediate climate action.
Teen climate activist Jamie Margolin, the founder of This is Zero Hour, said on Twitter that youth across the U.S. will be taking to the streets on March 15 "to show our legislators that we need a Green New Deal," referring to the insurgent policy proposal to fight climate change and to move the U.S. to a sustainable future.
Margolin also praised strike co-leaders such as Isra Hirsi and Haven Coleman for their work in bringing the climate revolution to American shores.
"This #ClimateStrike is being organized by amazing young women like @israhirsi & @havenruthie + so many more! Young girls are leading the climate movement!" she wrote.
According to Earther, strikers in Australia and Europe plan to join the U.S. contingent in solidarity, and action is also planned in Uganda and Thailand.
For those of you who are interested in striking or if you'd like to lead your hometown in a strike, check out this link.
Young Activist, Sohayla Eldeeb representing This Is Zero Hour, will Speak on Climate Justice in Buffalo this Saturday.
SATURDAY, February 9, COMMUNITY EVENT: WNY Climate Conversations - Discourse on creating a sustainable future in WNY. Distinguished speakers, Youth Activist & Climate Justice fellows. 1:00-4:00PM, Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo. Free & open to the public. [LINK]
Register for the event on Facebook and Invite Friends: Click here