From the South Pacific to the edge of the Arctic Circle, students who have been mobilized by social media and words in their mouths have skipped the class Friday to protest against what they believe is their government's failure to take tough action against global warming. The rallies were yet another of the greatest international measures, involving hundreds of thousands of students in over 100 countries around the world.
The coordinated school meetings were inspired by the 16-year-old Swedish activistwho began to hold alone demonstrations outside the Riksdag last year. Since then, the weekly protests have snowballed from a handful of cities to hundreds, driven by dramatic headlines on the impact of climate change during student life.
Thunberg, recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, said at a rally in Stockholm that the world is facing an "existential crisis, the greatest crisis mankind has ever encountered, and it has still been ignored for decades by those who have known it. And you know who you are, you who have ignored this and are most guilty of this, "she said, as protesters encouraged her name.
Throughout the world, protests expressed great and small politicians to act against climate change while highlighting local environmental problems.
- Speakers at the US Capitol in Washington stood behind a banner that said "we don't I don't want to die."
- In New York City said the students "Save our planet "and" Climate change must go "near an entrance to Central Park.
- Nancy Pelosy's office to late Dianne Feinstein's office, CBS San Francisco reported.
- In Berlin police said as many as 20,000 protesters, most of the young students, gathered in a square with waving signs with a slogan like "March now or swim later" and "climate protection report card: F" before marching through the metropolitan area's block with a stop in front of Chancellor Angela Merkel's office.
- In Poland, thousands of rainy Warsaw marched Warsaw and other cities demanding a ban on barking coal, which is an important source of carbon dioxide. Some wore face masks that they wore banners that read "Today's air smells like the planet's last days" and "Don't make love CO2."
- In India's capital New Delhi, school kids protested inactivity against climate change and rising air pollution levels that often exceed World Health Organization limits.
- "Now or Never" was among the signs branded by enthusiastic teenagers who penetrated cobbled streets around the domed Pantheon building, which rises above the Left Bank in Paris . Several thousand students gathered peacefully around the landmark. Some targeted French President Emmanuel Macron, who sees himself as the guarantor of but is criticized by activists for being too business-friendly and not ambitious enough to reduce French emissions.
- About 50 students protested in South Africa's capital, Pretoria chanting "There's No Planet B." A protest held a sign that read "You Will Miss Rains Down in Africa." Experts say that Africa, with a population of more than 1 billion people, is expected to be the most affected by global warming, although it contributes least to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause it.
- The police in Vienna said about 10,000 students gathered in the Austrian capital, while in neighboring Switzerland protested a similar speech in the western city Lausanne . Last month, legislators in the northern Swiss Canton of Basel, symbolically declared a "climate accident."
- In Helsinki the police said that about 3,000 students had gathered in front of Finland's parliamentary sports as: "Dinosaurs thought they had time too!"
- Thousands marched through Madrid and more than 50 other Spanish cities. Spain is vulnerable to rising sea levels and rapid desertification.
A site used to coordinate rallies listed events in over 2000 cities. In the United States, Alexandria founded Villasenor Youth Climate Strike USA along with 12-year-old Haven Coleman and 16-year-old Isra Hirsi.
They demand, among other things, "100 percent renewable energy by 2030," reported CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil. For more than three months, Villasenor has played hooky from the 7th grade on Fridays and goes to the UN headquarters in New York in hopes about driving adults into action against global warming.
"Because climate change will be a global problem, I decided this would be the best place to strike," she told CBS News, expecting students to be striking in all 50 states on Friday.
In a speech Friday outside the UN, Villasenor said that world leaders did not listen. "Our world leaders are the ones who act as children," she said. "They are those who have tantrums, argue with each other and refuses to take responsibility for their actions while the planet is burning. "
Carla Reemtsma, 20 years – Universe itets student who helped organize the protest in Berlin, said she is part of about 50 WhatsApp groups devoted to discussing climate change. "A lot is happening on social media because you can reach many young people very quickly and show them: see, there are a lot of us," she told the Associated Press. "It's a very low threshold so we reach a large number of people."
"I think it's so we managed to get so big," says Reemtsma. Many demonstrators in Berlin aimed at politicians as leaders of Germany's professional-free democratic party, Christian Lindner, to suggest that complex issues such as climate change were "a matter for professionals" not students.
Others, including Germany's Minister of Economy Peter Altmaier, have urged students to take the protests outside school hours.
Volker Quaschning, a professor of engineering at the Berlin University, said it was easy for politicians to weaken students. "That's why they need our support," he said. "If we do nothing, parts of this planet may become immutable at the end of the century."
Researchers have supported the protests with thousands of signing petitions in support of students in the UK, Finland, Germany and the US "It gives me great hope," says Environment Minister Bill McKibben to CBS News that contributes with meteorologist Jeff Berardelli. "This new generation is doing everything to make sure we older people do not rule out their chance for a decent life. It's beautiful to see their courage, their passion – if anyone ever thought" kids today "don't care about the world, or spending all the time on video games, images from around the world should renew their faith. "
Scientists have been warning for decades that current levels of greenhouse gas emissions are unsustainable, so far with little effect. In 2015, world leaders agreed in Paris to keep the Earth's global temperature rise at the end of the century well below 2 degrees Celsius.
But at present, the world is heading for an increase of 4 degrees Celsius, which experts said would have far-reaching implications for life on the planet. In Germany, environmental groups and experts have attacked the government's plans to continue using coal and natural gas for decades to come.
Quaschning, which was one of more than 23,000 German-speaking researchers to sign a letter of support this week, said Germany should strive to completely "de-colonize" 2040. This would give less advanced nations a little more time to refrain from fossil fuels while they still meet the Paris target globally.
"This will require radical action and there is" t the smallest sign of what is happening yet, "said Quaschning.
A survey published Friday By German public broadcaster ZDF found that 67 percent of respondents encountered students' protests during school hours, with the opposite 32 percent. The representative telephone survey conducted between March 12 and 14 involved 1,290 randomly selected voters, the margin of error being about 3 percentage points.
I Stockholm predicted Greta Thunberg that the students will not release their protests. "There is a crisis ahead of us that we must live with, that we must live with all our lives, our children, our grandchildren and all future generations," she said .
"We will not accept it, we will not let it happen and that is why we strike a strike. We strike for us to have a future, we continue, "she said.