Youth activists across globe protest for climate action

Youth activists across globe protest for climate action
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Protests erupted across the globe on Friday led by youth activists demanding governments take action to thwart the inevitable effects of climate change.

From Israel to South Africa to the U.S., thousands of student protesters rallied at school campuses and their civic centers asking for federal and international action to address global warming — the effects of which could greatly impact younger generations.

In Washington, D.C., protesters from the Youth Strike for Climate rallied outside the Capitol holding signs with slogans such as, “You can’t comb over climate change.”

In Cape Town, students in uniforms held signs, one which read, “Denial is not a policy.”

In Lebanon, a sign at a rally announced, “You really know how to make me cry when you make those oceans rise.”

In Hong Kong, it was reported that Friday’s climate strike amounted to the city’s largest environmental rally in history, with an estimated 1,000 students taking to the streets holding signs including one reading, “Our children will be endangered species.”

In many instances, students skipped school to attend protests.

The global rallies were sparked in part by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teen, whose solo protesting last August helped spark a massive movement to combat climate change.

Thunberg started refusing to go to school in August as a way to draw attention to climate change. She reportedly would hand out leaflets outside Parliament with the message, “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.”

Her global activism and foundation of the Youth Strike for Climate garnered her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination Thursday.

Friday’s protest also come the same week that the United Nations released two new scientific reports warning that the effects of global warming and sea level rise may be even more unavoidable than previously measured.

One report released Wednesday found that even if carbon emissions were to be cut off entirely today, it would not be enough to stop temperatures in the Arctic from rising 3 to 5 degrees Celsius from 1986-2005 levels by 2050.

In the U.S. at least one presidential hopeful jumped in on the protest action.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), who is running on a platform of climate policy, rallied with students at Columbia University, calling it a “moment of great promise.”

“You give the world is hope, and we need hope right now,” he said.

He said the student protesters offered many gifts to older generations and “naysayers.”

“You are giving them a challenge and they need a challenge. They need a swift kick in the behind to get going and when you’re challenging them. Hopefully, they will respond,” said Inslee.

“Because you speak from two sources of strength, youth and morality. And when you save your generation, you’re saving mine too.”