Young Alabamians push for action on climate change

Michael Sohn  AP

ME students are taking part in a global student strike Friday over a lack of action on climate change, following the lead of a 16-year-old Swedish girl who skipped school for three weeks to protest in front of Sweden's parliament building.

Katie Bradley, a biology teacher at the Winchendon School in Clinton Hill and adjunct professor at CUNY, said her high school students were permitted to join the strike because its "more valuable than anything we were gong to do in the classroom".

"The oceans are rising, so are we", read another in Sydney.

Under an unseasonably warm sun, the crowd of roughly 300 people (mostly students, but joined by some community members) then amassed in center of the Plaza to hear speakers discuss the environmental state of our planet and what can be done about it. In Europe, students packed streets and squares in London, Copenhagen, Rome, Vienna, Zurich and Lisbon. But the initial turnout in the United States did not look quite as high.

Friday's student "strike" in the Twin Cities was part of a wave of youth-led climate demonstrations across the globe.

Thunberg, who was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was cheered for her blunt message to leaders at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland this year, when she told them: "I want you to panic".

"This port is being built under the guise of economic opportunities when it only really helps the rich get richer, we will not fall for it", said Mishka Banuri, co-founder of Utah Youth Environmental Solutions, . "So will our children and grandchildren and coming generations", Thunberg said. "We're going to ruin our planet by that". "We can make a change and I know that we can protect our future if we choose to act now", she said.

He says critics of the last march - some of whom labelled pupils missing lessons to take part as "truants" - has strengthened his resolve to campaign for a greener future. "And equally they are not following the advice of the [United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] IPCC report that says we only have 12 years left for climate justice to be realistic".

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Scientists have warned for decades that current levels of greenhouse gas emissions are unsustainable, so far with little effect. The measures include a law to require action that would limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, a shift away from fossil fuels and investment in post-carbon renewable energy.

Summerlin's speech was just one of many at the Morristown rally, which was attended by all ages, from toddlers in strollers, to gray-haired lifetime environmentalists.

In Stockholm, Thunberg predicted that students won't let up their climate protests. "It is not the politicians, it it not the wealthy, it is us the people, the young people". Experts say Africa, with its population of more than 1 billion people, is expected to be hardest hit by global warming even though it contributes least to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause it. "Future generations won't be able to build a time machine and come back here to remind politicians".

The protesters poured into the streets of European capitals, as well as other cities.

Thousands of young people marched through Brighton chanting loudly and holding a variety of banners.

But some politicians praised the students.

Students hold signs protesting pipelines and paying tribute to victims of natural disasters.

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