Almost daily, we see increasingly terrifying news shedding light on the immediacy of the climate crisis. As Greenheart’s youngest demographic of participants, high school programs students, start to arrive for the upcoming academic year programs, it feels like a perfect time to draw attention to youth-led movements for change in our human role in the environment. In a 2008 UN survey only 9% of youth stated they were very confident the world would act quickly enough to address climate change.
Ten years later, youth-led movements are at the forefront of the global fight against climate change. Organizations like the Sunrise Movement, Zero Hour, and Our Children’s Trust are pursuing strategies from protest and direct action to federal lawsuits to advocate for action on the environment. The School Strike for Climate movement, inspired by Swedish youth activist Greta Thunberg, is gathering momentum with strikes being planned by young people around the world culminating with planned global actions in September 2019.
Young people have made it increasingly clear that they feel the burden of climate change more directly than their elders because the projected impacts will eventually be theirs to bear. It is important to take youth voices seriously in the fight for action on the environment – and time that their elders followed their lead.
This month’s suggested actions offer options for being an ally to the youth-led climate change action movement.