School pupils in Cape Town stayed away from class to march and gathered in front of Parliament last Friday to protest against government’s climate inaction. The protest is all part of the global twitter #ClimateStrike hashtag and #GlobalStrikeForClimate
It all started back in August 2018 when Greta Ernman Thunberg, a Swedish political activist, decided to protest against her government’s inaction on climate change outside the Swedish parliament building.
At about the age of eight, when she first learned about climate change, she was shocked that adults did not appear to be taking the issue seriously. It was not the only reason she became depressed a few years later, but it was a significant factor.
People with selective mutism have a tendency to worry more than others. Thunberg has since weaponised this in meetings with political leaders, and with billionaire entrepreneurs in Davos. “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act,” she told them.
The girl who once slipped into despair is now a beacon of hope. One after another, veteran campaigners and grizzled scientists have described her as the best news for the climate movement in decades. She has been lauded at the UN, met the French president, Emmanuel Macron, shared a podium with the European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and has been endorsed by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel. She has recently been touted to win a Nobel prize.
Now, across the world, the weekly protests have gathered momentum and students are using social media and dramatic headlines to showcase the impact of climate change.
In Cape Town pupils highlighted that fact that South Africa’s integrated resource plan relies heavily on a fleet of aging coal fired power stations.
South Africa is has some of the most intense carbon emissions in the world. Read more
Author: Bryan Groenendaal