Why I’m part of the Youth Strike for Climate…

This piece by Molly Cowell has specifically written for Sheffield Climate Alliance and explains first hand why she feels the need to take such drastic action…

Youth strike is a fast growing movement with members from across the globe yet on a daily basis we find ourselves facing enormous amounts of criticism .
My name is Molly and I’ve been a part of Youth strike for climate Sheffield since January 2019 and my parents have been supportive. Both are education professionals and have questioned the stance of my school, which has been oppositional to the strike in the past. They have been in full support of the movement and my involvement in it. There seems to be a general stigma surrounding youth in politics for example, when we look at the modern education system where censorship and conservatism seem to be extremely prominent.There seems to be a significant lack of focus on free thought and expression, giving some students a greatly reduced image of society but for those deprived of knowledge and a voice the movement proves paramount in moral education and social skills which are not explored in formal education. 

Furthermore , the movement itself comes in response to thousands of scientific papers warning of the catastrophic effects of climate change,  some of which we are already beginning to see. In short , the movement itself is a desperate attempt at self preservation and education which generations of children have been denied . Our planet is hanging on by a hair.  I joined the movement predominantly out of fear. Fear for myself and fear for the generations to come (who will be the most significantly affected.) But strangely from this group of anxious individuals, I have found a sense of comradery and unity which is incomparable to anything I’ve experienced before. Unified under a common issue, thousands have come together to express their disdain over climate injustice .

Despite our young age the movement has encouraged us all to educate ourselves and our decisions are based on the morals that are not learnt but instead a part of human identity. The maturity needed to understand this does not come from parental influence but from  maturity which is not defined by age instead,  it is defined by education and compassion which is ironically what modern politics seems to lack.   On the 20th of september the first global , general strike for climate will happen . We encourage all people to use their voice to pressure the government and capitalists alike to respond to the climate emergency and save our planet before it’s too late for change . Our world is dependent on it . Our future is dependent on it . And by all means it will not be the last strike . It’s vital that we work together to rival our common enemy of global destruction and acknowledge the importance of cross-generational influence in modern politics .

Together we can fight climate change.  Together we can bring social reform . Together we have hope . And to paraphrase the extraordinary activist Greta Thunberg , we don’t need thoughts and prayers ,we need action and we need panic because it’s our only chance of survival .