The Hope For Our Future …

The best news of the week was brought to us by students skipping school!  That’s right … kids from 123 nations chose to take a stand, to make their voices heard about climate change, so they played hookey, skipped school and engaged in peaceful protest on Friday.

Last October, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that without dramatic change, global emissions are set to rise to a level that would usher in catastrophic consequences in just over a decade. Exactly one month later, the historic Camp Fire broke out in Paradise, California, claiming 85 lives and destroying more than 15,000 structures.

There are three types of reactions to this:  1) those who still claim to deny that human activities are destroying our atmosphere, 2) those who agree and somewhat understand that climate change is indeed a very imminent threat, but do nothing, and 3) those who are doing something, either making changes in their own lifestyle, lobbying Congress to take action, or speaking out loudly enough to get the attention of the first two groups.  These kids are in the 3rd group!

The young people understand, for they are not blinded by the things we are … convenience, laziness, and greed.  They also realize that it is their future, far more than ours, that is threatened.  It is reminiscent of the young people who turned into activists for gun control after the Parkland school shooting in February 2018, but on a much grander scale.

Around the world, students in 123 countries will not be attending classes in protest, instead taking to the streets to demand their leaders take meaningful action to address climate change.  In the United States, the Youth Climate Strike group, founded by three young women from Colorado, New York, and Minnesota, has helped organize strikes in over 100 cities across the country.

One such group, Minnesota Can’t Wait, is co-founded by Isra Hirsi, aged 16, who just happens to be the daughter of freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar.  When asked why she and her group were participating in Friday’s protest, she had this to say …

“Because you need dramatic action for dramatic change. And it’s really important, especially in the United States, when we probably are the biggest contributors to climate change in this entire world, to take that action and to show our politicians that younger people really care about this issue from all different communities and all different places and we want to do something about it, and we’re not going to stand idly by [while] you [are] not doing anything.”

Thunberg

Greta Thunberg – Stockholm, Sweden

The youth climate strikes began last September, when Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, stopped going to school on Fridays. She quickly became known for skipping school to protest outside the Swedish Parliament, all in an effort to draw attention to climate change and demand her government implement policies in line with the Paris climate agreement. Since then, students of all ages and from most nations have been striking to demand action on climate change.

It is estimated that 1.4 million young people took part in the protests.  According to Greta Thunberg …

“This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice. We knew there was a climate crisis … We knew, because everything we read and watched screamed out to us that something was very wrong.”

They could see what our leaders in Washington D.C. cannot see, that ‘something’ is ‘very wrong’.  I give two thumbs up to these young people who are determined to make themselves heard for the future of this planet … for their future!  I will let them tell you of their efforts through pictures from around the world yesterday.

Capetown-SA

Capetown, South Africa

Delhi-India

Delhi, India

Dresden-Germany

Dresden, Germany

Dublin-Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Edinburgh-Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

Lisbon-Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

London-England

London, England

Prague

Prague, Czech Republic

Quezon-City-Philippines

Quezon City, Philippines

San-Francisco

San Francisco, California, USA

Seoul-2

Seoul, South Korea

Stockholm-Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

Sydney-Australia

Sydney, Australia

Taipei-Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan

Tokyo-Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Washington-DC

Washington, D.C., USA

Perhaps we could all take a page out of these kids’ books?  Great jobs, young people!  I’m proud to know that you are the future of our planet … perhaps there is hope after all!

52 thoughts on “The Hope For Our Future …

  1. Thank you very much for this informative post and the great pictures! I wrote an article on my blog regarding the importance of these youth protests. If you could check it out and let me know what you think that would be great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did check out your post and left my comment there. Excellent work! I also followed your blog, though I won’t be able to visit it daily, I will check in as often as time and energy permit. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The children may just be able to shame the adults into some action, I hope so but they’ll certainly need other adults to check any changes out. Few politicians are to be believed as long as their mouths move.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is the main goal, at this point I think … to shame the adults … well, if not to shame them, then to at least make them sit up and take notice, to force them to realize that this is serious and urgent, to get them to remove their heads from their posteriors. And you are so right … never take a politician at his word, especially if his name is Donald Trump!
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Jill, I hate to do this, but I must play devil’s advocate here. When I was a hippie way back when, all my hippie friends decried money, and capitalism. 5 years later some of those friends were the biggest capitalists in North America. Later, when I was an addictions counsellor giving speeches in schools, the kids I spoke to were strong anti-tobacco advocates. 5 years later, many of them were smokers. Then there were the drug addicts, and the alcoholics. Mind you, I live in a small town with nothing much to attract kids attention, but what they were passionate about as kids could not stand up to reality. How many of these kids are going to be lured away from where they are now to ugly places? The lures look amazing, for awhile. Good paying jobs, fine houses, good reputations, politics, whatever! Growing up changes people, often drastically. I’m not saying don’t cheer them on, or stop helping them, but remembr some of them for sure will disappoint you. Be prepared.
    It feels like failure…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, while I will agree that many of those who began as great idealists with big plans fell into the trap as they reached adulthood over such things as you mention: capitalism, tobacco, alcohol, drugs. But the way I see it, this is a bit of a different situation. This is their very lives, the lives of any future progeny, the lives of their friends and families. This is about the very air they breath, the water they drink, the food they eat, and whether any of those things will be available in 10-15-20 years. This is so much bigger than any of the other issues that I don’t think it will become irrelevant to them in a few years. But, I could be wrong … only time will tell, eh?

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  4. Jill, when kids in my community tried to skip school to protest gun violence in solidarity with the Parkland students, the local law barred them from leaving their school classrooms. I am 100% behind the young people, but they have a long haul ahead of them. They are very concerned about the future we are leaving them and rightly so. Shame on us old farts for making such a mess of things.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Seriously??? The cops barred them from leaving??? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. If I had been the parent of one of those kids, those cops would have had a huge fight on their hands! Why, that is unconstitutional! Yes, they have a long haul ahead, but it’s their very lives they are fighting for, so I think they are up for the challenge. At least, I hope so, for we certainly haven’t been very good stewards of our earth, have we? Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I applaud these young people. However, the “old fogies” are pretty stuck in their ways so I doubt there will be any noticeable changes until the new generation of politicians take over. Unfortunately, I doubt I’ll be around to praise their efforts. 😞

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t know … I think if they can keep up the pressure, if they can convince a few sensible adults to help them, they might have an effect. And hush, my friend … we will weather this storm together and we’ll both go out and celebrate with all the other members of our blogging family when this madness ends! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What do you say about this site which lists the worst and least polluting countries as of some time in 2018? Notice that the US isn’t in the 20 worst? https://www.lovemoney.com/gallerylist/79106/worlds-most-and-least-polluted-countries
    I don’t deny that climate change is an issue but for the daughter of a senator to categorically state that we are probably the worst culprit demonstrates that she clearly hasn’t done her research and she’d probably know more if she didn’t skip school.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Scott, this list you refer to is based on the number of tiny pollutant particles suspended in the air of cities. If the makers of the list had looked at the 10 worst cities in the States the USA would probably have been in the top five or ten worst nations in the world. But seeing as we don’t know which cities were used for this rating, we cannot know the truth. Also, there are so many cities in the country that if an average was done, the cleaner cities would have had more influence than the dirtier cities. There are too many unknowns to accept these lists at face value, especially when the first listed advertiser is a company called lovemoney.
      Next, most of the biggest polluters in the States have moved off shore. The pollution these companies create should be laid at America”s doors, not the countries they moved to. The Bhopal disaster had nothing to do with India, but everything to do with American-created pollution. Any study can produce the results the researchers want to find, or are PAID TO FIND. If you read only the results, without looking at the stories behind them, you are not getting the truth, but someone’s truth, which would be different if done by other people.
      I don’t remember the exact words on the placard in one of the pictures Jill showed, but I love the question: “Why should we go to school when our leaders don’t listen to the educated?” That is a question I would love to have answered–HONESTLY!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Ahhh … but you see, it all depends on the metric one is using. Young Isra Hirsi was quite right in one sense … the U.S. is the single biggest emitter per capita of CO2, and the second biggest emitter of CO2 overall, second only to China. The article you sent the link for cites WHO (World Health Organization), but I would have to take a look myself, since the site is not one that I am familiar with, and I always double-and-triple check information before I comment on it. But, as to the kids taking a day off to make their voices heard … one day out of school isn’t going to cost them, and they are learning a valuable lesson in this … how to stand up for what they believe in. I still applaud their efforts and wish the so-called adults in governments around the globe, most specifically our own, would listen. In this case, I will say that any one of the kids who are, say, sixteen or older, have a better education and a higher IQ than Donald Trump or his children.

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  7. Jill, the kids know their future is at risk. That places them well ahead of ostriches in the sand adults in leadership positions, like Trump, McConnell, Rubio, Perry, et al. More power to them. AOC is ridiculed for her Green New Deal, but at least it is a plan and she is acknowleding the problem. Rubio lives in the most at risk city in the world with porous limestone as its barrier and he is ridiculing the Green New Deal? Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Indeed, we have been terrible stewards of this earth, and unfair to future generations, if there are any. I do applaud these young people and hope that they do not become jaded or discouraged over time.

      As for Rubio, I am willing to bet that he fully realizes what is at stake for his city and is scared sh*tless, but he has to say what his people want to hear, for that re-election bid is the most important thing to him, even more important, apparently, than his own home and family. He and the rest better sit up straight and listen for a change, else it will soon be too late.

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    • No insult intended, but when was politics ever sensible. If it was sensible everyone would want the same thing. At no time in the history of humanity has everyone wanted the same thing. We want what we each want, and bugger the rest. Even if “we” are being “sensible”…

      Liked by 3 people

              • Here’s another article worth considering on the matter. A few selected quotes and I’ll post the link to the full piece.

                “The older generation has betrayed the younger generation. Us versus Them. So the voices of children must be heard. Children who are correctly considered

                incapable of consenting to sex, or voting, or driving, are nevertheless capable of delivering wisdom about complex scientific matters and proposed public

                policy solutions. And if, like Dianne Feinstein, you stand respectfully against this sort of manipulation, then the anger of the usual Twitter gods will

                be forthcoming.

                Not that there’s anything wrong with young people like Greta Thunberg making themselves heard. I was a relatively young campaigner myself in my time. But

                it’s the way the movement has now leapt up, amplified, and occasionally created this phenomenon artificially using children significantly younger that

                the almost-young-adult Thunberg.”

                “And yet, environmentalists insist that business in general, and oil companies in particular, are the enemy. The “richest one percent” are the enemy. The

                political Right is the enemy. The greedy capitalists are the enemy. And we will only achieve a sustainable future when “We” the forces of goodness rise

                up and defeat “Them.” It is as if environmental activists assume that none of the people in these groups have children of their own or a stake in the future.”

                “When businesses are analysing risk, and they encounter an issue about which they don’t know the full facts, they tend to flag that issue as a higher risk

                until they do. And, unsurprisingly (except to environmentalists), businesses are currently among the most effective entities now taking a lead on the environment.

                Some of the leading companies have adopted stringent science-based targets for reducing their own impacts. It’s not an easy problem to solve. But because

                businesses are pragmatic entities, used to managing change and strong on innovation, they are well placed to do it.

                So you get companies like IKEA and Unilever, disrupters like Tesla, and a whole lot of others on the journey, including companies the campaigners love

                to hate, like Walmart and Nestlé. You get companies like Maersk, committed to developing zero-carbon shipping vehicles for 2030, because although the environmentalists

                never talk about shipping (not as sexy as plastic straws) it has a significant impact.”

                https://quillette.com/2019/03/16/the-environment-is-too-important-to-leave-to-environmentalists/

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    • I absolutely agree … for one so young, she is wise beyond her years, and ready, willing and able to get out there and do something about it all. I’m pretty sure your ‘numpty’ will be gone soon, but I fear ours may linger for another 2 years, if not 6! You guys really should never have allowed us to gain our independence … we obviously weren’t ready for it! 😉

      Like

      • Voiceover read a winking face after that comment so I’m guessing it was said tongue in cheek, at least I’m hoping so. The election of trump, as much of a clown as he is, as much as you can’t believe a single word the man says, his election was a result of people in this country being fed up with a system around a status quo of politicians who, for too long, have put their needs for a political career above the needs of the people they claim to represent. Has trump turned out to be status quo? You bet your bottom dollar he has. He hasn’t drained the swamp as he so often said during what has turned out to be a campaign of lies.

        Some people said that trump was supposed to be the sledge hammer that would start the demolition of the out-of-touch elite and give the country back to the people and that’s not happening.

        I’m afraid that though we were ready for independence more than 2 centuries ago, our complacency has lead us to a place where we no longer really cherish and appreciate those freedoms.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, it was definitely tongue-in-cheek. Ever since Trump’s election, I tease my UK friends that they should have kept us under their wing, for just look at the mess we’ve made of it all. I’ve also tried to make a trade with my Canadian friends … Trump and his entire cabinet in exchange for Trudeau, but have had no luck. Perhaps after events of recent weeks, they might be more willing to talk now, though!

          Now, I might respectfully disagree with you when you say that Trump’s election was a result of the people in this country being fed up. First, because if you recall, he actually lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million, so in truth, the majority in this country preferred Hillary. Second, though, I seriously think that there were three major reasons people voted for him: 1) it was a racist push-back after 8 years of an African-American president (one of these days I will write a post quantifying that), 2) the wealthy and corporate CEOs voted for him because he promised tax cuts and regulatory rollbacks, and 3) many voted for him simply because Hillary was not a warm, fuzzy sort, she was not considered ‘likable’ enough.

          You’re right, though … he has not drained the swamp, but instead has made it more vicious. He hasn’t by any stretch given the country back to the people, but has taken much from the people to give to the upper 1%.

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