This Friday classrooms are quiet while streets worldwide have come to life again with the chants and cries of a new generation of climate activists. What started as a one-person protest by Greta Thunberg has grown to a movement of millions sacrificing their #FridaysForFuture in over 125 countries in at least 2000 locations.
School strikers voices have reverberated through the halls of power with moral authority and urgency in a way that has woken the world up to the true scale of the climate emergency we face.
Now, in a powerful call to action published in The Guardian school strike organisers are calling on people of all ages to join them in the next massive Global Climate Strike in September.
If you’ve been inspired by the school strikers, but you’re not sure how you can take action as an ally, read on for 3 meaningful ways you can show your support:
People all over the world will use their power to stop “business as usual” in the face of the climate emergency. Young people hope this moment will show that they have the backing of millions of human beings who have a growing dread about the climate emergency but who have so far stayed mostly on the sidelines.
Join young people in the streets to demand an end to the age of fossil fuels and emergency action to avoid climate breakdown. September 20 will kick off a global week of climate strikes, actions and activities
It’s as simple as it sounds. Talk to everyone you know – young or grown-up – about the climate strikes, about what they’ve achieved already; and our role in supporting young people. Share with them your own reasons for wanting to see urgent climate action. Tell them about Greta’s message of climate emergency, or, even better, show them one of her powerful speeches.
Share with people this map of all the upcoming school strikes until September.
If you’re attending an upcoming school strike as an ally — make sure you let young protesters speak in their own words when you’re sharing content. You can do this for example by asking young people for a short statement on why they’re striking (ask permission to post on social media). Try to amplify voices of young people that you notice being underrepresented in media. Describe the atmosphere, photograph the funniest banners, film the best songs and have fun! And remember to add the #climatestrike and #fridaysforfuture hashtags!
If you’re a parent or guardian, make it explicit that you allow your kids to go on strike, if they want to. If you’re an employer do the same. Lead others by example.
Don’t underestimate the power you have to inspire your friends if you’re passionate about a cause.
But remember – your role is to listen and amplify the call to action from young people, not step in and take over. Make sure you hear the concerns, hopes and beliefs of young people around you. Take them seriously. Be their ally in conversations you have with other adults: be explicit about your support, help bring the message of the striking students into spaces where they can’t be present.
Share this video on Facebook and Twitter to let your friends and family know about the climate strikes and week of action coming up.
Activate your own network (yes, you have one!) in support of the climate strikes. Think of the organisations, clubs or faith groups you belong to. Maybe you’re in a parents group, or a bookclub? Talk about the climate strikes at your next meeting; take to social media and share a public statement of support. Organise others for solidarity actions and events.
Take it even further: maybe you or your friends know a reporter at your local radio station or newspaper? Ask them to cover the climate strikes. Maybe you’re on good footing with a local politician or someone from your municipality? Get in touch and ask them to help amplify the climate strikes – or not to discourage the mobilisations or penalise striking students!
If you’re part of an existing climate campaigning group, think of how you can participate in or help organise around September 20 to keep the momentum going. Link your action explicitly to the school strikes (“We’re doing this because we’re answering the call of the striking students, and taking action”).
Check out this amazing new resource: Climate Resistance Handbook (and share copies with young organisers)
Think long-term: talk with your kids or other grown-ups about what could be done to keep up the momentum between 24 May and 20 September. What are the practical things that are needed? Start a WhatsApp group, plan an informal get-together or a film evening to keep connecting regularly.
If you’re already a climate organiser, invite school strikers to speak at your upcoming events or meetings. How about inviting them write an email to your group list themselves? Make sure you locate and connect with any recent youth strike and other climate groups that have sprung up in your community to plan together towards September. One of the best ways to do this is through the #FridaysForFuture platform and searching on social media.
Officials from more than 75 businesses gathered on Capitol Hill to make the case for carbon pricing, the largest such effort in a decade. Did they find a single U.S. Senate Republican to take up their cause?Read original story
Amazon shareholders have voted down proposals to take a close look at the company's societal impact on climate change and facial recognition. The climate change initiative was unusual in that it was developed by Amazon employees, as opposed to activist investors.Read original story
There is a global appetite for programs that sell carbon offsets to allow people and companies an alternative to actually reducing fossil fuel use. But this hunger may have blinded some advocates of the programs to a mounting pile of evidence that they haven't deliver the climate benefit they promise.Read original story
Reporters Dan Gearino of InsideClimate News and Brett Chase of the Better Government Association talked with WBEZ about climate change in the Midwest and a 14-newsroom project published this week on climate challenges and solutions.Read original story
The Bureau of Land Management is arguing that the Trump administration's decision to resume coal sales from public lands will make little difference in U.S. carbon emissions, a finding that critics say is absurd. The office reached this conclusion in response to a judge's ruling that the administration had failed to consider environmental effects in allowing the sales.Read original story
Half of Maryland's energy will come from renewable sources by 2030 under bill that will become law on Friday without Gov. Larry Hogan's signature. The Republican Hogan says he endorses larger goals, including getting to 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2040.Read original story
Ohio House Republicans have amended a nuclear bailout bill to include subsidies for two coal-fired power plants, a move that Democrats say makes clear that the measure was never about clear air, as GOP sponsors have argued. The bill also has provisions that would eliminate the state's renewable energy and energy efficiency standards.Read original story
Scientists are zeroing in on the source of a powerful climate pollutant used in foams and cooling that was banned years ago but has mysteriously been increasing, with potentially damaging consequences for climate change.Read original story
Here's what happened this week when state energy regulators, politicians and industry officials met with members of the Trump administration to discuss the future of coal.Read original story
Research projects that led to discoveries about how environmental hazards affect children are in jeopardy because the EPA will not commit to their continued funding, according to researchers. Many of the projects have led to increased pressure on the EPA for tighter rules.Read original story
Fossil fuel pipeline protesters who interrupt operations or cause damage could face up to 10 years of prison time under legislation approved this week in Texas. Read more from ICN about other states with new anti-protest laws.Read original story
Colorado officials say they do not plan to stop energy companies from drilling for oil and gas while regulators revise state rules to prioritize health, safety and the environment.Read original story
Some of the most consequential decisions about how the U.S. government deals with climate change are being made by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an agency few people are aware exists.Read original story
As cities increasingly feel the effects of climate change, planners are rethinking the role of urban parks. The Trust for Public Land says it is seeing an increase in development of parks that are designed to alleviate climate change effects such as intense heat, flooding and poor air quality.Read original story
As coastal communities prepare for the impacts of climate change, a new report warns that ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland could cause more sea level rise than previously thought. For planning purposes, it would be prudent to use scenarios that anticipate 6.5 feet of sea level rise by the end of the 21st Century, the authors write.Read original story
Xcel Energy announced plans to close two more coal-fired power plants several years early and exit coal generation in Minnesota by 2030, while at the same time extending the life of one of its nuclear power plants by another decade to 2040. The moves are part of Xcel's long-term target of reaching carbon-free energy by 2050.Read original story