As I understand it, we only have 12 years before our planet experiences devastating consequences. According to an article by the Guardian, “The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C…” The difference between 1.5C and 2C could mean the welfare and lives of hundreds of millions.
In 12 years, I would hope to be a college graduate, working as either a casting director or a screenwriter. I’ll be 28. In the US in 2018, the average age of a first-time parent was around 28 years old. If we did nothing to stop climate change, I and nearly a hundred million others born in Generation Z would be raising our children during a time where natural disasters are a common occurrence. Droughts, floods, extreme heat, poverty, forest fires and more would await us in the year 2031.
Imagine raising a family in that world. That’s my future right now, as well as an entire future generation’s. I think it’s in everyone’s very best interest to do everything they can to help, regardless of the suffering that might mean. Could you imagine a more worthwhile cause?
If any of us have a chance to prevent this horrible event for us and future generations of children, we have to take it, even if it costs us a few days of our education. I chose to strike on Friday, March 15th because, more than anything, I believe in the cause. So, yes, I’ll miss a day of school if it gets the attention of the Hong Kong government and changes are made.
I chose to strike with around 1000 students in Hong Kong to prove that, when united, we can come up with a monumental solution for this monumental issue. “We urgently need a holistic view to address the full sustainability crisis and the ongoing ecological disaster.” - Greta Thunberg writes on a Facebook post. This quote improves upon the idea that we need everyone who can to fight climate change. Greta Thunberg is the heart of the School Strike 4 Climate movement. In 12 years, we could be celebrating March 15th as Greta Thunberg day “This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice.” Greta and others write in an article: “These strikes are happening today...because politicians have failed us... Politicians have known the truth about climate change and they’ve willingly handed over our future to profiteers whose search for quick cash threatens our very existence.”
It has become abundantly clear to me that a change is essential to our future. If our governments won’t stand up for us, we will. Some might argue that change could arise through some other form of protesting instead of ‘skipping school’. To those people, I will quote a slogan popping up on signs all over the world: “Why should I go to school when you won’t listen to the educated?”
Being a part of the strike on March 15th showed me how extensive Greta Thunberg’s reach is. I wasn’t just striking with the students in Hong Kong, but with 1.5 million students in 125 countries on all continents (except Antarctica). We can only hope to achieve what Emily Tarr, Protest Organiser, told SCMP in an interview comes true. “We are asking for a youth delegate so we can work with the legislative to make Hong Kong safer.”
It is my hope that this contentious way of protesting will reach the ears of the government (especially after chanting outside the government building) and that Hong Kong will work harder than ever to assist in the international emergency that is the life expectancy of our planet, us, and the future of humanity.