By: Lydia Wilcox
On Friday, Sept. 20th, 2019, thousands of protestors gathered in Center City Philadelphia to demand action on the issue of climate change. Climate Strikes, similar to the one in Philadelphia, took place in 139 different countries all over the world. The global strikes were inspired by the Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. Thunberg recently spoke at the United Nations, urging world leaders to take action on this pressing issue, something that should have been addressed by these leaders long ago. Attendees of the protest promoted the Green New Deal, a proposed legislation that addresses climate change and championed for an end to fossil fuels. The most prominent message in Thunberg’s speech to the United Nations was that the youth are the ones who must initiate the movement to halt climate change. As Thunberg said, regarding the failures of world leaders on the issue of climate change, "You are failing us, but the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you, and if you choose to fail us, I say, we will never forgive you.”
These strikes are primarily youth led protests. Young students from around the country chose not to attend school in order to participate in the strike, bringing further awareness to the pressing issue of climate change. Many students from Friends’ Central School attended the march, and they were given excused absences. Some school districts around the country and some schools in New York City also gave students excused absences if they attended their local March.
According to climate change scientists, there are only twelve years left to combat climate change. There is still time to save the planet, but immediate action needs to be taken, something that world leaders seem to resist. As Thunberg told the United Nations on behalf of the youth of the world, “We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up, and change is coming, whether you like it or not.”