Known variously as Fridays for the Future and Youth Strike 4 Climate, the movement started with one individual, Greta Thunberg, sitting alone outside the Swedish parliament one year ago. Today it involves over a million young people and adults from more than 100 countries. The strikes have drawn in other groups such as Extinction Rebellion, and the focus has broadened to embrace the wider ecological catastrophe facing the planet.
Strike action of any sort inevitably causes some disruption and is always controversial, especially if it entails distracting students from their important studies. So why would a Wildlife Trust be supporting it? Here are three reasons why I believe we should show solidarity with the Youth Strike 4 Climate.
First, this is the most serious threat to humanity and the planet that we know of. Think of the way Brexit has paralysed our politics and split the country. Important though it is, Brexit won’t kill anyone. A no-deal may harm the economy, but we won’t all lose our jobs and our homes. Not so with the climate and environmental crises. They could make whole areas of the planet uninhabitable, create millions of climate refugees and wipe out hundreds of thousands of species. Blows to the economy are usually reversible. Extinction and loss of human life is not.