„The climate models with the worst predictions define the limits of what is imaginable. This allows us to better visualize what is likely. And perhaps these extreme models will even turn out to be good signposts, considering that the optimists over the last half century were never right about the climate.“ – David Wallace-Wells
Never before has our understanding of our planet’s state been so comprehensive. We get daily news reports about climate catastrophes. Scientific articles are freely accessible and written in ways that make them comprehensible to everyone. Ever more often, we feel in our own bodies what effects the climate crisis is having on the survival of our species. And yet it is difficult to be driven to action. Because – where should we even begin?
Where tribal elders used to look for answers to existential questions, the generational relationship now seems to have been radically reversed. Millions of children and young people all over the world are joining forces with an unutterable power and vehemence to persuade the world community to act collectively. For they have understood: Time is running out for us. According to the IPCC report, we still have 12 years left to mitigate the consequences of a global climate catastrophe. Exactly the same period of time that a high school student goes to school.
The 10-25 year olds of today will be those most severely affected by the deadly consequences of these crises. That is why they are demanding immediate and binding climate protection measures from prior generations, at both the
political and the individual level. In order to draw attention to themselves and their demands, they are rebelling against the educational ideals of their parents‘ generation. Following the example of the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (16), every Friday millions of children strike from school and head out into the streets instead of into the
classrooms. All over the world, new „Fridays for Future“ groups are formed – whether that is in Hong Kong, Greenland, the Pacific Islands, Chile or Canada.
Over the course of just a few weeks, the movement has become the largest youth climate movement of all time and has the immense power to shake the political foundations and laissez-faire mentality of previous generations. With their fighting spirit and their unstoppable joy of life, the children show that change is possible. Because what is
required for this to take place lies in every one of us.