Climate Optimism on Fridays

The movement goes by a variety of names — Fridays for Future (FFF), Youth for Climate, Climate Strike and School Strike for Climate.

Screen shot 2020-02-22 at 1.13.18 PMOriginally it was Greta Thunberg all alone on the front steps of the Swedish Parliament skipping school on Fridays to protest climate inaction. The reality today — hundreds of youth-led strikes around the globe every Friday, every week — inspires me like nothing else.

Some of them are tiny, a few friends or a single girl with a cardboard sign. And some are massive like the 60,000 strong in Hamburg, Germany (2/21/20) where Greta spoke. But the others (below) from random Twitter screenshots today: New Zealand, Nairobi, Sierra Leone, Stockholm, Scotland, British Colombia, Uganda, Lausanne, Uganda, U.S., Germany, Costa Rica and on and on . . .

SchoolStrike4Climate:GlobalOn some Fridays as many as 160 countries are impacted. Friday September 27, 2019 saw 300,000 climate strikers in the UK, 300,000 in Australia, 170,000 in New Zealand, 1.4 million in Germany and 250,000 in New York — a total of 7.6 million people worldwide, the largest global demonstration in history.

I’m familiar with other reasons for hope —

Screen shot 2020-02-22 at 1.39.10 PM

[From upper left, clockwise:] solar farm, tree planting, massive machines sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere and Christiana Figueres who led the effort for the Paris Climate Accord.

Screen shot 2020-02-21 at 5.21.42 PM

But, even with an atmospheric CO2 reading today of 414.8 ppm from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii (NOAA-ESRL), and with the White House filled with climate deniers and the U.S. EPA reversing clean air policies, what gives me the most hope are the kids, the teens and people in their 20s who are committed body and soul to combating climate change.


A future for the children of tomorrow is in the hands of the children of today.


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