Greta’s gen­er­a­tion

Sun.Star Pampanga - - STORIES! -

LAST Fri­day, an un­con­firmed num­ber of stu­dents in Bukid­non trekked 12 kilo­me­ters to join other teenagers in what has be­come an in­ter­na­tional move­ment call­ing for ac­tion against cli­mate change. A photo shared by 350.org (@350 on Twit­ter) shows them walk­ing around noon and later gath­er­ing in a gym­na­sium, their han­dlet­tered plac­ards held in front of them. An­other photo, shared by 350’s East Asia of­fice, shows a sim­i­lar gath­er­ing in Gen­eral San­tos City, where about a dozen stu­dents stood in a road­side line and held let­ters that spelled out “Act for Cli­mate.”

Would you al­low or en­cour­age your teenagers to join them?

Seven months ago, when she was 15, Greta Thun­berg be­gan this move­ment when she walked out of school and held the first #Cli­mateStrike by her­self in front of the Swedish Par­lia­ment. This is no longer a solo un­der­tak­ing. As of March 15, she and other young cli­mate ac­tivists have or­ga­nized or in­spired some 2,000 #SchoolStrikeForCli­mate and #Fri­daysFor­Future events in more than 100 coun­tries. A few par­lia­men­tar­i­ans have even nom­i­nated Thun­berg for this year’s No­bel Peace Prize.

Not sur­pris­ingly, some adults have lashed out at Thun­berg and her peers, and tried to dis­miss their ef­forts as an ex­cuse to skip school. Part of me wishes teenagers didn’t have to worry about be­ing in the midst of the sixth mass ex­tinc­tion or the ab­sence of cli­mate jus­tice, and would rel­ish in­stead the par­tic­u­lar pains and joys of teenage life. But I also can’t help but be proud that so many young peo­ple are de­mand­ing that cor­po­ra­tions and govern­ments use re­new­able en­ergy more, elim­i­nate fos­sil fuel sub­si­dies, and re­duce global green­house gas emis­sions.

To crit­ics who have asked her to stay in school in­stead of hold­ing protests ev­ery Fri­day, Thun­berg has an­swered, “Why should I be study­ing for a fu­ture that soon will be no more, when no one is do­ing any­thing what­so­ever to save that fu­ture?” And dur­ing the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s an­nual meet­ing last Jan­uary, she urged busi­ness lead­ers and pol­i­cy­mak­ers to work to­ward “a wide pub­lic aware­ness and un­der­stand­ing of our rapidly dis­ap­pear­ing car­bon bud­get that should and must be­come a new global cur­rency and the very heart of present and fu­ture eco­nom­ics.”

What’s the car­bon bud­get? It’s what the United Na­tions In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change (IPCC) de­fines as the amount of car­bon diox­ide emis­sions that can be re­leased with­out rais­ing global tem­per­a­ture by more than two de­grees Cel­sius above late 18th cen­tury or pre-in­dus­trial lev­els. In its lat­est re­port last Oc­to­ber, the IPCC said that to­tal hu­man-caused CO2 emis­sions need to drop by 45 per­cent from 2010 lev­els in the

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