Written By Shannon MacDevine
The much anticipated Youth Global Climate Strike kicked off in Australia overnight as the United States slept. Crowds of people gathered in Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, and many other locations promising to make the demands of our generation heard.
Youth activist Greta Thunberg is the driving force behind the rallies expected today, September 20th. She posted this Twitter message around 1AM est:
The 16 year old Swedish student has bluntly laid the bare facts in front of the public and our governing authorities demanding change over the “climate crisis”.
By climate crisis, Thunberg is referring to the devastating effects our carbon footprint has left on the earth. In an essay written by Thunberg she wrote, “I want to feel safe. How can I feel safe when I know we are in the greatest crisis in human history?”
The climate crisis that fuels Thunberg’s anger, along with millions of other individuals including students, adults, businesses, and environmentalists, is the increased carbon monoxide in our atmosphere from burning fossil fuels and forest destruction.
Both have caused an increase in global temperatures which will inevitably lead to rising sea levels, desert expansion, and a change to our weather patterns. All of these will be serious issues for us and our children. All of these issues are also man-made; which prompted Thunberg to write “I am doing this because you adults are sh**ting on my future.”
Besides the throngs of supporters that are ready to stand behind the Swedish youth activist, many companies have also pledged to shut their doors for a least a portion of the day today. Among those are Ben & Jerry’s, Lush Cosmetics, Patagonia, and Burton. Many other companies have given their employees time off, while others are expecting mass walkouts including Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
While Amazon has vowed to lower their carbon footprint, a mass walkout (largest in Seattle headquarters history) is planned in hopes of forcing the company to eliminate business with fossil fuel companies and do away with funding groups that deny the need for climate change.
There are many walkouts and protests planned for Boston, New York, L.A., and other communities throughout the US today and the following weeks. With massive turnouts expected, Thunberg hopes to see a measurable change in our policies.