Global Climate Strike In Pictures: Millions Of Students Walk Out To Demand Planetary Transformation

| Resist!

Above Photo: In the United Kingdom, thousands of young people were among the millions worldwide who called on their governments to declare a climate emergency and take action to stop the climate crisis. (Photo: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

“We are facing the greatest existential crisis humanity has ever faced. And yet it has been ignored. You who have ignored it know who you are.”

All over the planet on Friday, millions of children and young adults walked out of their classrooms in an unprecedented collective action to demand a radical and urgent shift in society’s energy and economic systems in order to avert the worst impacts of human-caused global warming and climate change.

With demonstrations in more than 100 countries and tens of thousands of schools, the worldwide Climate Strike is the largest since 16-year-old Greta Thunberg sparked a wave of increasingly huge marches and walkouts with her one-person strike outside the Swedish Parliament last year.  

Since then, Thunberg has admonished and appealed to world leaders at COP24 and Davos, successfully securing a commitment from the European Union to fight the climate crisis while inspiring strikes all over the world. European students began holding weekly walkouts in Brussels in December, while Australian, and German young people are among those who have organized strikes as well.

“We have been born into this world and we have to live with this crisis, and our children and our grandchildren,” Thunberg told a crowd of her peers in Stockholm in Friday. “We are facing the greatest existential crisis humanity has ever faced. And yet it has been ignored. You who have ignored it know who you are.”

In Pictures:

People hold up signs and vent their frustrations during a Climate Change Awareness rally at Sydney Town Hall on March 15, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. The protests are part of a global climate strike, urging politicians to take urgent action on climate change. (Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images)

LISBON, PORTUGAL – MARCH 15: Portuguese students chant and hoist placards in front of the Assembleia da Republica (Portuguese Parliament) during their demonstration to support actions for climate change on March 15, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal. Thousands of Portuguese students from universities and schools across the country join the international ‘SchoolStrike4Climate’ global protest, skipping classes and marching in protest against climate change. (Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Getty Images)

Portuguese students chant and hoist placards in front of the Assembleia da Republica (Portuguese Parliament) during their demonstration to support actions for climate change on March 15, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal. Thousands of Portuguese students from universities and schools across the country join the international ‘SchoolStrike4Climate’ global protest, skipping classes and marching in protest against climate change. (Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Getty Images)

The scene on Westminster bridge as school children block traffic and march across the river on March 15, 2019 in London, England. Thousands of pupils from schools, colleges and universities across the UK will walk out today in the second major strike against climate change this year. Young people nationwide are calling on the Government to declare a climate emergency and take action. Similar strikes are taking place around the world today including in Japan and Australia, inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg who criticised world leaders at a United Nations climate conference. (Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)

QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES – MARCH 15: Environmentalists and concerned citizens gather and hold a picket to voice out concern on environmental and climate issues on March 15, 2019 in Quezon city, Philippines. Students around the world took to the streets on March 15 to protest a lack of climate awareness and demand that elected officials take action on climate change. Inspired by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old environmental activist who started skipping school since August 2018 to protest outside Sweden’s parliament, school and university students worldwide have followed her lead and shared her alarm and anger. (Photo by Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

Environmentalists and concerned citizens gather and hold a picket to voice out concern on environmental and climate issues on March 15, 2019 in Quezon city, Philippines. Students around the world took to the streets on March 15 to protest a lack of climate awareness and demand that elected officials take action on climate change. Inspired by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old environmental activist who started skipping school since August 2018 to protest outside Sweden’s parliament, school and university students worldwide have followed her lead and shared her alarm and anger. (Photo by Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – MARCH 15: Greta Thunberg participates in a strike outside of the Swedish parliament house, Riksdagen, in order to raise awareness for global climate change on March 15, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by MICHAEL CAMPANELLA/Getty Images)

Greta Thunberg participates in a strike outside of the Swedish parliament house, Riksdagen, in order to raise awareness for global climate change on March 15, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by MICHAEL CAMPANELLA/Getty Images)

ROME, ITALY – MARCH 15: Schoolchildren take part in the Global Climate Strike For Future on March 15, 2019 in Rome, Italy. Today, thousands of students took part in the Student Global Climate Strike to demand for urgent measures and concrete action to combat climate change, the global warming and to protect our future. The strike is inspired by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish school girl who in 2018 went on school strike to make adults and lawmakers take climate change action. (Photo Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

Schoolchildren take part in the Global Climate Strike For Future on March 15, 2019 in Rome, Italy. Today, thousands of students took part in the Student Global Climate Strike to demand for urgent measures and concrete action to combat climate change, the global warming and to protect our future. The strike is inspired by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish school girl who in 2018 went on school strike to make adults and lawmakers take climate change action. (Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

On social media, supporters posted images and videos of students chanting, marching, and waving signs demanding action from their elected officials as well as rebuking some leaders who have criticized the students for skipping school. As one sign in London read, “I’ll do my work when you do yours.”

Uganda:

Brussels:

Minneapolis, Minnesota:

Montreal:

Lisbon:

New York:

Kyiv, Ukraine:

Barcelona:

Santiago, Chile:

Nigeria:

Paris:

Bangladesh:

  • One chant-response being used struck me as particularly significant.

    “What do we want?” … “Science!!!”
    “How do we want it?” … “Peer Reviewed!!!”

    This, I think, points toward the foundation of a truly sustainable direction for human society. Our cultural decision making processes are what has landed us in the global situation we find ourselves in today, in particular, making day to day decisions as individuals, communities and nations based on #MoneyThink or #MonetaryMarket economics. Essentially, we have embodied the values of scarcity and competition into our traditionally evolved economic cultures and relationships. The consequences for all to see include vast amounts of #StructuralViolence as everyone scrambles for personal advantage over everyone else.

    The cultural stories we embrace define our actions, sustainable or otherwise. Organized #Science is perhaps humanities newest cultural expression, and the one most likely to lead us toward rational decision making processes for creating a sustainable future civilization. #Science by no means has all the answers, but #Science also recognizes that it never will and so remains open minded to adjusting cultural values based on constantly evolving scientific understandings. The systems thinking of modern science has begun to offer us sustainable alternatives to present human behaviors.

    When they are subjected to a process of scientific peer review, not all cultural expressions are equally valid. Homo Sapiens embody multiple types of logic, instinctual logic embedded in our genes, emotional logic expressed through our natural likes and dislikes and rational logic, most closely associated with the scientific method. Each form of logic has its own value and application under certain circumstances. For managing a global civilization, instinctual logic and emotional logic are extremely limited. The rational logic of scientifically recognized causality provides our best chance, perhaps our only chance, of effectively addressing the problems faced by a global humanity whose behaviors until today are showing themselves to be highly self destructive and unsustainable.

    Our modern economic expressions are the cultural embodiment of the instinctual, emotional beings we are. However, the clear logic of a strictly rational #Science has allowed us to recognize exactly how unsustainable our behaviors have become. Only rational #Science helps us clearly understand that an infinite growth economy on a finite planet is a type of instinctual and emotional insanity. Only scientific logic tells us that if we devote most of our time and economic energy towards competition and building weapons, we will have constant war. Our emotions and instincts may tell us to protect ourselves at all costs, but when the cost is the very life sustaining ecosystems of the Earth, our emotions and instincts have failed us. #MoneyThink has failed us. #MonetaryMarket competition has failed us. The scale of modern human civilization calls out for a new type of logic to guide our behaviors, a new culture to guide our decision making processes. It will not be easy. Traditions are after all traditions. But like humanity, traditions evolve. For better or for worse, #Science is the future of human culture.

    So let our children lead the way, grounded solidly in the culture of science and peer review. Let #Science be our guiding star. #Science has already begun to teach us more about our own instincts, emotions and behaviors than any previous culture in human history. The future that belongs to our children will only happen is we can rise above our primitive origins and embrace a higher cultural logic to guide our behaviors.

  • Jon

    “Science is the future of human culture” Only if it is HONEST science. A great deal of what passes for science is skewed by money, and is devoid of ethics.