Thousands of schoolchildren across the UK went on strike for the climate on 15 February. These young people are taking a stand over the utter failure of their country’s leaders to address the climate catastrophe that’s engulfing the globe.
So, what response did they get from Britain’s supreme leader, aka the prime minister? They got a scolding, that’s what. Theresa May told them off for messing up teachers’ lesson plans.
In short, her response couldn’t have made their case for a strike stronger. And she fucked up her chance of ever winning the youth vote in the process.
The future can wait
These young people lit Britain up on 15 February. Inspired by Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, they walked out of school and protested to send a message to the government. Lots of messages, in fact. “You can have capitalism or you can have the planet”, was one. “There’s no planet B”, was another. Meanwhile, a further message was “Fuck Theresa May”.
If that one wasn’t apt enough before May’s comments, it certainly was after. Because a Downing Street spokesperson’s response to this inspiring display of concern for the planet we live on was:
Everybody wants young people to be engaged in the issues that affect them most so that we can build a brighter future for all of us. But it is important to emphasise that disruption increases teachers’ workloads and wastes lesson time that teachers have carefully prepared for.
That time is crucial for young people, precisely so that they can develop into the top scientists, engineers and advocates we need to help tackle this problem.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
There couldn’t be a more perfect statement to prove how unfit May is to tackle this issue herself.
No, it can’t
However, other leaders appeared to grasp the fact that without action now, there’ll be no future for these young people. They seemed to get the notion, unlike May, that if the planet becomes uninhabitable then no-one will be on it to “develop” into scientists and engineers. So, they applauded the strike instead:
Climate change is the greatest threat that we all face but it is the school kids of today whose futures are most on the line.
They are right to feel let down by the generation before them and it’s inspiring to see them making their voice heard today. #SchoolStrike4Climate
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) February 15, 2019
It’s a cause for optimism, in an often dark world, that young people are taking a stand on climate change. @scotgov is a world leader but, given the urgency, it is right that we are all challenged to do more and that we hear the voice of the next generation. https://t.co/NJOMuN649Q
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) February 15, 2019
This attitude is exactly why young people are on #schoolstrike4climate.
Teachers work hard to prepare children for their futures – but right now those futures are at real risk.
If the possibility of the end of life on Earth isn't a good enough reason to miss lessons, what is? https://t.co/4lNZwYmN7u
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) February 15, 2019
As a 2018 UN report showed, the time for climate ‘advocates’ and action is now. It says we need to dramatically change course within the next decade or we’re heading for an absolute environmental disaster. A brief glance at the news on any given day shows that we’re already halfway there. As the Guardian recently reported, Queensland has just suffered “an environmental massacre of mammoth proportions”, wiping out much of the region’s wildlife and farm animals, due to extreme weather; insects, on which we depend, are dying off at record rates; Chicago experienced one of the coldest Januarys ever, while the Arctic was positively balmy by comparison.
For those reasons, and tons more, we should be celebrating what these young people are doing. The fact that May can’t understand this proves how unfit she is to lead us through this climate catastrophe.
Featured image via Guardian News/YouTube
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?