The Children Will Lead
The central inequity of climate change is that those least responsible for the crisis will bear the greatest burden. The fault line between culpability and punishment cuts across rich and poor, humans and other species, and current and future generations. Notably, children are facing a lifetime of coping with the consequences of inaction by myopic adults, and they’re beginning to stir. Swedish ninth grader Greta Thunberg, who went on strike from school last summer to protest climate inaction, has been a catalyst. By the end of the year, she was joined by 20,000 pupils who held strikes in some 270 cities. Then, last week, more than 1.4 million students—from 2,233 cities and towns in 128 countries—participated in a massive strike demanding a hard-hitting worldwide effort to save their futures. This widening mobilization of the children, if joined by people of all ages, brings hope for a mass movement that even politicians, sleepwalking toward disaster, cannot ignore.