When then 15-year-old Greta Thunberg began spending her days outside the Swedish parliament instead of at school in August 2018, it wasn’t with the express intention of sparking a global movement. Yet, the simple message that she was sending to lawmakers in her country caught the attention of millions around the world and identified her as a clear and sincere voice for her generation’s feelings towards climate change, and for the movement as a whole. After three weeks, Greta limited her protest to Fridays, and soon school students and adults alike began staging protests in front of parliaments around the world, striking on Fridays, in solidarity with Greta, and calling upon their policymakers to take action, thus creating the Fridays for Future movement.
As our destruction of the planet intensifies, and inaction snuffs out any hope of turning things around, many young people are confronted by the futility of an education when education (notably, the warnings of climate scientists) is so flagrantly undermined, for a future that might never come. As we hurtle towards environmental collapse, it is easy to feel abandoned by those in power, and frustrated that while the pretense of a debate over the reality, causes, and effects of climate change drags on, the proverbial elephant in the room is kicking down the walls.
This Friday, March 15, more than 1,300 ‘strikes’ will be held across more than 100 different countries, with marches planned in cities all around the world. Despite the urgency for action on climate change, the response from governments has largely been a mix of denial and paralysis. The climate strike is about forcing those in power to take notice and take action: time is too short for the current generation of school students to ‘wait their turn’.
Slow Food’s message is inextricably linked to climate change, and the major villains in the food system are unsurprisingly major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Across several of Slow Food’s key themes, climate change and environmental protection play very important roles, from the protection of biodiversity to the consumption of local and seasonal produce. The recent Food for Change campaign aimed to make people think more about the links between food and climate change, not only as a cause, but as a victim and potentially a solution to the crisis.
Whether you are a school student or have a job, consider striking this Friday, or find a way to show solidarity. You can find a list of the events specifically linked to Fridays For Future, if you do not see your city, consider creating a facebook event and gathering people in your area to take part in the protest. Strikes are the people’s ultimate expression of power, and the most effective tool that we have at our disposal is our voice.
On Friday 15 take photos, make noise, and share posts on social media. Use the hashtags #FridaysForFuture #ClimateStrike to align your posts to the movement and to help consolidate the message. Our greatest strength will be in the loudness and the unity of our collective voice.
The implications of climate change affect us all, in ways far more destructive and terrifying than many are prepared to accept, and time is running out. In the words of the young woman who launched this movement “I don’t want you to be hopeful, I want you to panic.”
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) March 8, 2019