On 15th March there will be a gathering in front of Hartley Library at 11am as part of Youth for Climate Strike events worldwide. In these events, students abstain from scheduled activities as they demand greater governmental action on climate change.
Three groups in Southampton are organising the event tomorrow, Extinction Rebellion Southampton (also known as XR Southampton), UK Youth Climate Coalition and YouthStrike4Climate. The local branch of Extinction Rebellion have been contacting parents around the city to join the Youth for Climate Strike movement where children refuse to attend school on Fridays. This action was inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg whose weekly protests outside the Swedish parliament have inspired worldwide.
XR Southampton was formed after activists met following the national protests in London back in November. Since then, it has help wage a campaign for clean air in Southampton, the Youth for Climate Strike and will be drumming up support for the International Rebellion, coordinated non-violent, direct actions against. To get involved with the group, come along to one of the group’s local meetings.
Currently, the impending climate catastrophe is failing to capture the headlines. This is surprising considering that according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change humanity has 12 years to implement radical change to avoid potential mass starvation and much of the Earth’s surface from becoming inhabitable.
Far from all politicians have been responsive to such warnings. For example, US senator Dianne Feinstein opposes climate change legislation and justified not supporting one proposed measure in the US – the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed Green New Deal plan – by telling children that environmental catastrophe was:
not going to get turned around in ten years.
This poignant image of an elderly politician telling children that she wouldn’t take action and leaving them with the results of climate change immediately highlights to those engaged in the Youth for Climate Strikes what the looming crisis is.