From the South Pacific to the edge of the Arctic Circle, students mobilized through social media and word of mouth spoke out in protest on Friday to protest what they believe is their governments' crackdown on harsh measures against global warming. The rallies were one of the largest international events in which hundreds of thousands of students from more than 100 countries participated.
The coordinated "school strikes" were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg (19459004) who held solitary demonstrations in front of the Swedish Parliament last year. Since then, the weekly protests have struck from a handful of cities to hundreds, fueled by dramatic headlines about the effects of climate change during student lifetime.
Thunberg, who was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, said in a gathering in Stockholm that the world faces an "existential crisis," the biggest crisis humanity has ever experienced, and was ignored by them for decades who knew about it. And you know who you are, you ignored it and you're most guilty, she said, as the protesters hailed their name.
All over the world, protests and protests, both large and small, prompted policies to tackle climate change while highlighting local environmental issues.
- Speakers at the US Capitol in Washington stood behind a banner saying "We do not want to die."
- In New York City students sang "Save Our Planet" and "Climate Change Must Be Close to an Entrance to Central Park"
- In San Francisco hundreds of students disrupted downtown traffic when they walked from the house speaker Nancy Pelosis office to Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office, reported CBS San Francisco.
- In Berlin police said that up to 20,000 protesters, most of them young students, gathered in a downtown square slogans such as "march now or swim later" and "climate change report: F" before marching through the government district of the capital with a stop in front of Chancellor Angela Merkel's office.
- In Poland, thousands marched in the rain Warsaw and other cities are calling for a ban on the b Uring of coal, which is a major source of carbon dioxide. Some wore face masks while wearing banners bearing the inscriptions "Today's Smells Like the Last Days of the Planet" and "Make Love Not CO2."
- In India's Capital New Delhi Schoolchildren (19459009) Protected against Climate Change Rising levels of air pollution often far beyond the limits of the World Health Organization.
- "Now or Never" was among the characters paved by enthusiastic teenagers who crowded cobbled streets around the vaulted Pantheon building that rises in Paris . Several thousand students gathered peacefully around the landmark. Some have targeted French President Emmanuel Macron, who sees himself as the guarantor of the Paris Climate Agreement of 19459004 (19459005), but is criticized by activists for being too entrepreneurial and too ambitious enough to cut French emissions.
- About 50 students protested in the South African capital, Pretoria and sang "There is no planet B." A protester held a sign saying, "You'll miss the rains in Africa." Experts say that Africa, with a population of more than a billion people, will be hardest hit by global warming, even though it's least contributing to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause it.
- The police in said around 10,000 students gathered in the Austrian capital, while in neighboring Switzerland a similar number protested in the west town of Lausanne . Last month, the legislature symbolically declared a "climate battle" in the northern Swiss canton of Basel.
- In Helsinki police said 3,000 students were gathered in front of the Finnish Parliament, including posters titled, "Dinosaurs I thought they had time too!"
- Thousands marched through Madrid and more than 50 other Spanish cities. Spain is vulnerable to sea-level rise and rapid desertification.
A website used for coordination The rallies recorded events in over 2,000 cities. In the USAfounded together with 12-year-old Haven Coleman and 16-year-old Isra Hirsi the Youth Climate Strike US. Among other things, they demand: "100 percent of renewable energy by 2030," reported CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil. For more than three months, Villasenor has been playing seventh grade on Fridays and has gone to UN headquarters in New York hoping to put adults against global warming into action.
"Because climate change will be a global issue, I decided that this was the best place to attack," she told CBS News. She expected the students to strike in all 50 states on Friday.
In a speech on Friday in front of the U.N. Villasenor said the world leaders had not listened. "Our world leaders are the ones who behave like children," she said. "It's those who have tantrums, arguing with each other and refusing to take responsibility for their actions while the planet is burning."
Carla Reemtsma, 20 years old A former student who helped organize the protest in Berlin said she was part of about 50 WhatsApp Groups dealing with climate change. "There's a lot happening in the social media because you can reach many young people very quickly and show them: Look, there are many of us," she told the Associated Press. "There is a very low threshold, so we reach a large number of people."
"I think that's how we managed to get that big," said Reemtsma. Many Berlin protesters turned against politicians, such as the leader of the Free Democratic Party of Germany, Christian Lindner, on the grounds that complicated issues such as climate change are "a matter for professionals" and not students.
Others, including Germany's Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier, called on students to organize the protests outside school hours.
Volker Quaschning, engineer of engineering at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences, said it was easy for politicians to worsen students. "That's why they need our support," he said. "If we do nothing, parts of this planet could become uninhabitable by the end of the century."
Scientists have signed the protests with thousands of people petitions in support of students in Britain, Finland, Germany and the US "There are I have great hope, "said environmental activist Bill McKibben to CBS News, who helped meteorologist Jeff Berardelli. "This new generation is doing everything it can to make sure that we do not rule out older adults their chance of a decent life, it's beautiful to see their courage, their passion – if anyone ever thought that" kids today "are not interested in the whole world, or spending all their time playing video games, should the photos from all over the world renew their faith. "
Scientists have been pointing out for decades that current greenhouse gas emissions are unsustainable and have so far had little effect. In 2015, world leaders in Paris agreed on a goal to keep Earth's global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
However, the world is currently on the way to a rise of 4 degrees Celsius, which according to experts would have far-reaching consequences for life on Earth. In Germany, environmental groups and experts have attacked the government's plans to continue using coal and natural gas for decades.
Quaschning, one of more than 23,000 German-speaking scientists who signed a letter of support this week, said Germany's goal should be to achieve full decarbonization by 2040. This would give the less advanced nations a little more time to wean themselves from fossil fuels while continuing to reach the Paris goal worldwide.
"This requires radical action, and there is no one – the slightest sign of it has not yet happened," Quaschning said.
A survey published by the ZDF on Friday found that 67 percent of respondents support student protests by 32 percent during school hours. The representative telephone survey, conducted between March 12 and 14, involved 1,290 randomly selected voters. The error rate was about 3 percentage points.
In Stockholm, Greta Thunberg predicted that the students would not give up their protests. "Before us is a crisis that we have to live with, that we have to live with for our whole lives, for our children, our grandchildren and all future generations," she said. "We will not accept that, we will not allow that and that's why we're going on strike, we're going on strike because we want a future, we'll keep going," she said.