Oftentimes people overlook the inspiration and influence that another person can have on them, however, this is not the case for Greta Thunberg and the many students across the globe who have been participating in the recent school strikes for the climate.
Greta Thunberg is a 16-year old Swedish student and political activist seeking to stop global warming and climate change. She initiated the ongoing climate strikes which occurred across many countries, inspiring students to take a stand towards change.
Concerned with lowering her family’s carbon footprint, Thunberg convinced them to convert to veganism and give up flying. The footsteps she’s made towards improving the climate within her country have become drastic as they’ve moved across the globe.
The strikes are an international movement where students have decided not to attend classes, and instead take part in demonstrations to demand further action towards global warming and climate change.
Thunberg commenced the movement after camping outside the Swedish parliament accusing lawmakers of failing to uphold their commitments to fight climate change as agreed to under the Paris climate accord.
The United Kingdom, Australia, France, Thailand, Uganda, Columbia and Poland are just a few places where students have joined by following Thunberg in skipping school to demand stronger action on climate change.
According to the Guardian, Thunberg, “was inspired by students from the Parkland school in Florida, who walked out of classes in protest against the US gun laws that enabled the massacre on their campus.”
The movement has also made its way to the US as students in over 100 cities joined the school strikes on March 15th. The strikes were led by teen co-executive directors and the national co-directors who have very well rounded knowledge of climate change.
Irsa Hirisi is a 16-year-old sophomore from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is one of the three Co-Founders and Co-Directors for the U.S. Youth Climate Strike, and daughter of Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district since 2019.
According to Eric Holthaus in an article published on Grist, “Omar grew up in Somalia before immigrating to the United States as a refugee, so she was able to see firsthand the consequences of drought and make deep connections between climate change and all aspects of human society.”
Along with Hirisi and the other co-executive directors and national co-directors, students have been witnesses to many of the harmful effects that the climate is experiencing due to the lack of care from others and their governments.
Following the recent school strike within the US, the teen leaders are in the midst of holding another strike to get more people involved. According to YouthClimateStrike.org, the next school strike will be held on May 3, 2019.
The beliefs and willpower of Thunberg have been shared, and have gained serious recognition as the school strikes continue to move forward. Her participation in national dialogues concerning the issues of global warming and climate change have inspired and given hope to many people.
“The movement that Greta launched is one of the most hopeful things in my 30 years of working on the climate question. It throws the generational challenge of global warming into its sharpest relief and challenges adults to prove they are, actually, adults. So many thanks to all the young people who are stepping up,” said Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org.
As students move forward with their school strikes to stop global warming and climate change, it allows them to build a deeper connection with one another and a sense of the power they wield as the world’s future leaders.
As Dave Ramsey says, “True leadership is servanthood. Put the interests of others at the center of your decisions.”
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