The youth of planet Earth are stepping up and taking action. From September 20-27, millions of people will walk out of their schools and workplaces to join young climate strikers on the streets to demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. The first widespread global blackout in history will include the involvement of hundreds of organizations and businesses. Anyone with an online presence can also launch a “digital strike” via their company website or personal blog.
In New York City, the strike on September 20th will be led by youth strikers including Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen activist who has become a household name after having given impactful speeches to rooms full of adult world leaders. She and others will lead a rally in NYC’s Foley Square, then march to Battery Park to hear keynote speakers and performers.
The weeklong movement will surround the UN Climate Summit set for the autumn equinox this Monday, September 23. World leaders are meeting with the aim to accelerate the urgent actions necessary to implement the Paris Agreement and meet the climate challenge.
According to 20-year-old plaintiff in the case of Juliana v. United States, Vic Barrett: “Because of the actions of the United States government and the fossil fuel industry, my generation has never known a world free from the impacts of climate change. Time is running out. This decade is our last chance to stop the destruction of our people and our planet. This is our time to join in solidarity with communities around the world to fight for a just future. This is why we strike.”
Some parting words of advice from environmentalist and author Bill McKibben, courtesy of The Guardian: “Strike because the people who did the least to cause this crisis suffer first and worst – the people losing their farms to desert and watching their islands sink beneath the waves aren’t the ones who burned the coal and gas and oil. Strike because sun and wind are now the cheapest way to generate power around the world – if we could match the political power of the fossil fuel industry we could make fast progress. Strike because we’ve already lost half the animals on the planet since 1970 – the earth is a lonelier place. Strike because forests now seem like fires waiting to happen. Strike because young people have asked us to. Strike because what we do this decade will matter for hundreds of thousands a year…”
To learn more about the U.S. Climate Strikes and Week of Action and find an event near you, visit strikewithus.org. For more details around climate strikes in other places across the globe, go to globalclimatestrike.net