„We are striking because we have done our homework and they have not“(Greta Thunberg)
The UN report on climate change shook the world after its release, giving the world two decades to significantly reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses, or face heavy consequences. But, as time passed, new worries and tragedies filled the media space and the world moved on, with little change accomplished. However, the warning has lingered in the thoughts of many, especially young adults and teenagers. We have found out that the world we have yet to properly experience could be swept from under our feet.
Even before the report was issued, students had been well aware of climate change. They were even more aware of the lack of action taken to prevent it. On August 20, 2018, then fifteen year old Swedish student, Greta Thunberg broke the Swedish law by skipping school. Instead, she sat in front of the parliament building. Next to herself, she placed a sign reading: “Student strike for climate”. Her protest drew international attention and support.
Her worry and frustration resonated with her peers across the world. On Friday, March 15, they organized protests by skipping school. Students from more than a thousand cities from all around the globe, walked through the streets with signs and banners.
It was a chilly day in Varaždin, where I joined the protest. This was one of the colder days in the last month, but still too warm for this time of year. One of the organizers brought it up during his speech. He followed it up with a question: „Do you think this is normal? “.
At the end of the day that was the message of the protests, a rhetorical question. We aren’t pleading, because we shouldn’t be begging to have a future, we are judging the people who have been elected to protect it yet they don’t seem to care. This isn’t an issue that’s going away on its own. It seeks a drastic change, both in our everyday life as well as on the global industrial stage. Climate change is no longer a problem of future generations, it is a problem of this generation and we refuse to be quiet.