As youth, we will never live in a world that is not touched by the effects of climate change. Even if we successfully keep temperatures from rising above catastrophic levels, the ecological damage that has already been inflicted will remain.
As young members of society, our future is at state, so what happens now matters the most to us. That’s why we choose to strike from school, telling governments around the world that they must take urgent and decisive action to stop the climate crisis.
In October 2018, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5° C. This report highlighted the effects of climate change, and the catastrophic future consequences should humanity fail to reduce carbon emissions and halt the planet’s warming.
It set a number of 1.5 ° C for the level to keep global warming below at all costs. If warming increases above that level, it will kickstart feedback loops that will spiral the climate crisis out of control. In this scenario, warming would keep increasing, regardless of any actions taken by humans.
Within our lifetimes, the Earth would warm so much that the Bow River would run dry during summers, and cacti would become a new outdoor species in Alberta.
Currently, the planet has warmed roughly 1 °C as compared to pre-industrial times. This has caused a sharp increase in heat waves, floods, and hurricanes, which are killing thousands of people and devastating communities around the world. Sea level rise, loss of biodiversity, and destruction of human civilizations are just some of the effects of the climate crisis. The extinction rate of species is 200 times higher because of global warming, a number that is only going to increase.
Scientists agree that the climate crisis is the defining issue of our time. It is the single biggest threat to the future of humanity, along with many of the other species on the planet.
Greta Thunberg first started these Fridays for Future protests in October 2018, and ever since, an increasing number of youth join her every week. We are striking for our future, and demanding that climate action be implemented.
As Greta said, the house is on fire. The time is now. Will you join us?