As is the way with worldwide events, New Zealand and Australia took the lead on the School Strike for Climate. Young people skipped class and took to the streets by the tens of thousands. I watched them from fourteen time zones away.
They came out in mountains, by rivers and in cities.
#HappeningNow: Students from the Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center join the Global #SchoolStrike4Climate. They started the 12-km, mountain-terrain walk from Bendum at 6am and are on their way to Zamboangita. pic.twitter.com/BRNQm6odFX— Ecojesuit (@Ecojesuit) March 15, 2019
There were the ones so small that their parents had to hold their sign: "Toddlers against climate change". And people old enough that they can hold up a sign that says, "Old buggers against climate change". Artwork was everywhere, and very creative.
Part of me is grownup and "realistic" and sees that things won't change on a dime, and no government is going to issue a declaration of emergency tomorrow, to ban the private use of the automobile, to restrict airport growth, to nationalise the fossil fuel industry in order to shut it down.
Part of me goes, DAYUM, we could totally do that. We could transition to clean energy and a sane lifestyle and healthier habits. More than that: we must.
When my babies were born, my dad all but quit smoking. He didn't give up entirely, but he'd do half a cigarette a day. For somebody who smoked two packs a day at the height of his smoking days, that was huge. And he always went outside to smoke, in sweltering summer heat and freezing winter weather, all to protect his grandchildren from the secondary smoke.
If someone who used to be so addicted to tobacco and never did kick the habit for himself, could give it up for the love of his grandchildren – why, the sky's the limit.
This is what we do for our children. I mean, we do it for love. Not just because we're hoping they will treat us right when they're running the place. Although there is that, too: soon enough, they will be running the place.
But let's not wait for that. Climate action NOW!