- 20 Sep 19
Today will likely mark the largest global climate strike in history, with millions across the globe – and thousands of Irish – taking to the streets to demand action in averting the climate crisis.
With the fate of the planet at stake, tens of thousands of people have descended upon the streets in the largest global climate strike to date. Led by youth climate activists, the strike is intended to call politicians and individuals to action to avert the brunt of the climate crisis.
According to an early estimate from one Garda, 20,000-30,000 people attended to Climate Strike in Dublin today, up from 10,000 at the last strike in March.
The ultimate goal? To force political leaders to avoid the planet warming more than 1.5˚C since pre-industrial temperatures. This key number was defined by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the UN body for assessing climate change science – in a recent report as being the final straw before irreparable repercussions would be felt by every corner of the Earth.
"Well really, we just don't want the world to end," says 8-and-a-half-year-old climate striker Eabha Williams. She and her friend Charlotte say they would otherwise be in school learning today if they didn't have to stop the end of the world.
For Ireland in particular, the IPCC report also asserts that we are at a heightened risk of flooding, more intense heatwaves, lower labour productivity, and higher rates of injuries, disease, and even death, due to the effects of the climate crisis.
The global strike was inspired by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has been striking outside the Riksdag (parliament) every Friday for over a year now. Thunberg recently crossed the Atlantic in a zero-emissions racing yacht in order to speak at the UN in New York later this month. Since she started striking last August, millions of students across the world have joined her to create the Fridays for Future movement. Now, they are organising the second global climate strike for Friday, 20 September.
Fears are rising among young people that they will bear the brunt of the humanitarian, economic, and geopolitical issues born of the climate crisis. Oh, and we’ll be footing the bill too, should we be so lucky as to live long enough to get it.
"I believe that the government in Ireland isn't doing enough and they're not listening to the young people," says striker Ella Clancy. "We're the ones that have our future ahead of us. And they always talk about prepping the youth for the future, but then when it comes to stuff like actually doing something about the climate, they don't care. So we're showing them that when we all come together, we're super powerful."