Though many of them probably couldn’t explain what carbon emissions are, or why they’re supposedly going to cause the end of the world 12 years from now, tens of thousands of students have already gathered in cities across Asia and Europe for the latest global school climate strike on Friday.
According to Reuters, the protests started in the Pacific, with social media posts showing large crowds in the Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney.
— Arihant Raidani (@astroAri) September 20, 2019
— Heather Marie Little (@heathermarielit) September 20, 2019
It wouldn’t be a protest without creative signs:
“The oceans are rising and so are we,” read one sign held by a protester wearing school uniform in Melbourne. Another sign, carried by a student in Sydney, read: “We didn’t light it, but we’re trying to fight it.”
The protests, which will reportedly take place in 150 cities around the world, were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.
The movement’s goal: Convince national leaders to treat climate change like an international emergency and take whatever steps necessary to forestall it. Of course, anybody who remembers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” understands what this would entail. And while abandoning fossil fuels and ending beef production might sound like “bold ideas” to some, most people probably understand that they simply aren’t feasible.
Moving over to Europe, thousands of students marched in Paris, London, Brussels and Warsaw, while some people reportedly walked off their jobs to join, according to Bloomberg.
“This is about the future of our planet,” said Laura Lazzarin, an Italian national living in Berlin who joined demonstrators near the Brandenburg Gate. “We can’t go on like this, and politicians must realize that.”
One group of demonstrators at the march in Paris specifically protested against intensive livestock farming, despite the fact that humanity needs food to live.
“Breeding kills earth”, read the demonstrators’ t-shirts, who demonstrate against intensive livestock farming at the Paris climate march. #ClimateStrike #FridaysForFuture @dw_europe pic.twitter.com/t9DH9tFmsg
— Lisa Louis (@weissercappu) September 20, 2019
The strike will climax in New York, where Thunberg will lead a rally at UN headquarters. Reuters pointed out that Thunberg has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her ‘activism’.
According to the wire service, carbon emissions climbed to a record high last year.
Despite these shortfalls, Bloomberg says the protest movement has inspired some companies to pledge to cut carbon emissions. Volkswagen has promised to become climate neutral by 2050 and make more electric cars.
On Thursday, Amazon pledged that it would be “carbon neutral” by 2040. It also said it would purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from a startup firm, which we imagine will be used by Amazon delivery drivers.
While the pledge is a nice thought, it certainly seems like an unattainable goal, seeing as Amazon delivers 10 billion items a year and operates massive power-draining data centers. However, Jeff Bezos is insistent that the company can get it done. “We know we can do it and we know we have to do it,” Bezos said.
Some Amazon employees who are members of the group “Amazon Employees for Climate Justice” plan to join the marches.
Fortunately, most students will be right where they should be during the marches: In class.