The revulsion over the mass murder of Muslims in New Zealand by white supremacists has overshadowed an important news event today and that is the call for a global strike by students to call attention to the need for governments to take action on climate change. They are rightly pointing out that it is their generation and those that follow who will have to live with the consequences of inaction by my generation.
The international student strike will see classrooms empty in cities across the globe, from Boston to Bogota, Dhaka to Durban and Lagos to London.
“This is young people taking the reins and realising that they do have people power, that’s really awesome,” Abigail O’Regan, 20, told AFP in the New Zealand capital.
Some teachers and political leaders have tried to cajole or threaten students against skipping school, to little avail.
But the budding activists have received encouragement from New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern, who said it was important for the young generation to send a message.
“We hear you and we’re getting on with setting a path for carbon neutrality,” the 38-year-old leader said in a statement.
“Please keep bringing as many people as you can with you because we simply won’t achieve our goals alone.”
Climate change and guns are two issues where young people are taking the lead. They should be encouraged.