“I don’t care if I get into trouble at school. I believe that one person can make a difference.”
~ Greta Thunberg, 15-year-old Swedish student on school strike for the climate
“If grown-ups don’t give a shit about my future, I won’t either.”
~ Greta Thunberg
— Dr Heidi Edmonds (@heidikat) September 10, 2018
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) September 16, 2018
Imagine if students or workers simply stood silently for one minute, or collectively did some other easy-to-copy manifestation. Provided that this would spread, it could have a huge impact. https://t.co/X8LdiVxFtV #fridaysforfuture #climatestrike
— Bo Thorén (@bothoren) September 12, 2018
“Seize the day (carpe diem) and stand up for what is right.”
Strike for the climate
Demand that your employer, school or university starts to take proper action on climate change.
It’s not hard to do, and it is increasingly necessary. Our leaders – principals, headmasters, vice-chancellors, CEOs, premiers and prime ministers… very few of them have apparently understood that the task of creating a safe environment for their workers, students, constituents and citizens is actually part of their job, by law. It is their responsibility. They committed to this when they took on their leadership roles.
As it turns out, now it will be our job to remind them about this. Demand to see their plan. Ask: When will your workplace, school or university become carbon neutral? And: what’s the plan? How is it going to happen?
So far, they have not been listening – or they have pretended to be listening without actually taking any serious action on the isse. This is why we need to take it to the next level now – the level of civil disobedience.
“Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal of a citizen to obey certain laws, demands, orders or commands of a government or occupying international power. Civil disobedience is sometimes defined as having to be nonviolent to be called civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is sometimes, therefore, equated with nonviolent resistance.
Although civil disobedience is considered to be an expression of contempt for law, Martin Luther King Jr. regarded civil disobedience to be a display and practice of reverence for law; for as “Any man who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail in order to arouse the conscience of the community on the injustice of the law is at that moment expressing the very highest respect for law”.”
~ excerpt from wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_disobedience
» Stories of civil disobedience on this site
School strike for the climate
“We children don’t usually do what you grown-ups tell us to do. We do as you do. And since you don’t give a shit about my future. I don’t give a shit either. My name is Greta, I live in Sweden and I’m 15 years old. I refuse school for the climate until election day. You will find me outside the Swedish parlament main entrance in Stockholm until 9 September 2018.”
“I sit outside the [Swedish] Parliament on school strike for the climate. I do this because as I don't see anyone else doing much, it's my moral responsibility to do what I can.” ~ Greta Thunberg, 15 years old.
— Mik Aidt (@mikaidt) August 26, 2018
“When grown-ups don’t lead, their children will. Could skipping school be a new way to fight the climate crisis?” (…) What if ten million kids showed the world that school is pointless if there is no future?
“Is there something big going on here? This one kid immediately got twenty supporters who now sit next to her. This one kid created numerous news stories in national newspapers and on TV. This one kid has received thousands of messages of love and support on social media. What if ten kids did like Greta and went on school strike? 100 kids? A million kids?
What if ten million kids showed the world that school is pointless if there is no future?
Movements by young people, such as Jaime Margolin’s #ThisIsZeroHour speaks with a much needed urgency that grown-ups should pay attention to: The climate crisis is an existential threat that must be forcefully dealt with NOW. We don’t have time to wait any longer.”
David Olsson, COO, We Don’t Have Time
» Medium – 23 August 2018:
This 15-year-old Girl Breaks Swedish Law for the Climate
Greta Thunberg skips school to protest outside Swedish Parliament: “If grown-ups don’t give a shit about my future, I won’t either.”
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) August 24, 2018
“I have my books here. But also I am thinking: what am I missing? What am I going to learn in school? Facts don’t matter any more, politicians aren’t listening to the scientists, so why should I learn?”
~ Greta Thunberg
“Greta is a troublemaker, she is not listening to adults. But we are heading full speed for a catastrophe, and in this situation the only reasonable thing is to be unreasonable,” teacher Benjamin Wagner, 26, told The Guardian. He has downed tools to join Greta in her protest – and expects to lose three weeks’ wages – and his job – as a result of his strike.
On 9 September 2018, Sweden has a national election, which means Greta will be missing three weeks of school. The irony of her ‘school strike’ is that she is most likely to be learning so much more about politics, climate policy, the world, human nature and the future for herself and life on this planet, than she would had she remained in her class room these three weeks.
Greta has been chatting with politicians, she has been interviewed by world media, been in conversation with ordinary people, teachers and students, as well as tourists, every single day during her strike. Her strike has also been joined by other students, teachers, parents and others who support her goal of pushing climate issues up the agenda.
Overall, Greta says her agenda is that she wants to see politicians show they care about climate change “by talking about it, by prioritising the climate, by treating it as the crisis it is.”
She urges the Swedes to protest outside the town hall of their own city.
Recent wildfires have made climate change the second most important issue to voters, according to opinion polls, with only immigration considered a more pressing issue.
Greta Thunberg tweeted on 24 August 2018, after her first week of strike: “Thank you for this week! We who are sitting in front of the Swedish Parliament are very grateful for all the support we are receiving. #ClimateStrike See you on Monday!”
The Swedish 15-year-old who's cutting class to fight the climate crisis – The Guardian https://t.co/DVZgnFeDWC
— Climate Change News (@climate_u) September 1, 2018
» Facebook event page – 7 September 2018:
“We support the School Strike for the Climate”
According to a new poll in Sweden, the climate is now put highest on voters’ agenda in the national election on 9 September 2018.
— Jennifer Lenhart (@jenn_lenhart) August 23, 2018
— Andrea Gerák (@AndreaGerak) August 26, 2018
» The Guardian – 1 September 2018:
The Swedish 15-year-old who’s cutting class to fight the climate crisis
“Following Sweden’s hottest summer ever, Greta Thunberg decided to go on school strike at the parliament to get politicians to act.”
» Effekt Magasin – 31 August 2018:
Greta, dag 10: “Får du pengar över, stöd en miljöorganisation”
“Greta, Day 10: “If you have money to give, support an environmental organisation.”
A quietly ticking bomb
Our politicians don’t seem to realise that they are playing with fire in more than one way. One thing is the economic and environmental consequences of their procrastination and deliberate delaying the decarbonisation of our society. A very different, and potentially just as disruptive force “from within” in our society, which politicians are currently not in any way factoring in, is the human psyke.
Climate change already triggers hopelessness and disengagement among an increasing amount of people. They ‘tune out’ from work and education, because “what does it all matter anyway?” – with the most affected taking it to the ultimate edge of suicide.
A hurricane can destroy buildings, but as long as the human will power and the economy to rebuild is present, destroyed buildings will eventually be rebuild and repaired, often in an even better state than they were before the event.
But how to rebuild a society where it is human moral that has been destroyed and when it is the future workforce of society that has opted out?
The implications of Greta’s statement, ‘If you adults dont care about my future, why should I?’, is that this sentiment could grow to become a seriously disruptive attack on those wheels that run the world’s modern societies – that is if was to catch on among the millennials. Which there is, of course, nothing at the moment that looks like it would.
Still, just the thought of it is what triggered this unusually high media interest in the Scandinavian countries for Greta’s school strike.
» Medium – 16 August 2018:
Extreme weather is triggering climate despair
“More people will become hopeless unless there’s radical change.”
Related articles and information
The party is over. Now the youth must clean up
Editorial by Ulrik Dahlin in the Danish newspaper Information on 22 August 2018
“Among four out of five young voters, the prospect of climate change is an important, if not the most important topic, which determines where their crosses will be put at the next parliamentary elections
The young people have realised that the party – which the previous generations have fully enjoyed – is over and now the time has come for cleanup. But as with other parties, most people hurry to slip away while only the few remain behind to give a hand with it.”
Intergenerational theft: $8.8 trillion stolen from the millennial generation
According to a 2016-report from NextGen Climate and Demos called ‘The Price Tag of Being Young: Climate Change and Millennials’ Economic Future’, the millennial generation as a whole will lose nearly $8.8 trillion in their lifetime income because of climate change. Their children will lose tens of trillions.
» The Guardian – 13 May 2018:
‘Young people are angry’: the teenage activists shaping our future
“Fed up with waiting for the older generation to sort out its problems, a growing number of teenage activists are taking matters into their own hands. Here, six motivated people reveal why they’ve decided to fight for a better world.”
“All our students will face a world transformed by climate change. Educators have an obligation to prepare them for overcoming this immense challenge. Universities are ideal environments for incubating world-changing ideas. Students are our best hope for creating a more sustainable future.”
~ Peter Salovey, president, Yale University
» World Economic Forum – 17 January 2018:
The solution to climate change will be forged in our universities
“Four ways that students can help make it happen”
“One way or another, we need humankind to drastically lower greenhouse gas emissions. We need to do this fast and at scale. That’s the only way we’ll meet the goal to stay below a two-degree Celsius temperature rise. Here are four ways that students can help make that happen:
1) Political Commitment
2) Personal Engagement
3) Practical Action
4) Professional Opportunity”
~ Mark Tercek, CEO of the Nature Conservancy
» Medium – 8 January 2018:
Start the Year Off Right: Take Action on Climate Change Now