The Guardian reports that thousands of schoolchildren and young people walked out of classes yesterday, to join a UK-wide climate strike amid growing anger at the failure of politicians to tackle an escalating ecological crisis. Many people are arguing that students shouldn’t miss classes to protest against environmental changes. And that education is more important, than activism. However, what will this lot do with all the knowledge in a dying world? Moreover, would this protest have caught our attention so effectively, had these kids taken to the streets on the weekend?

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Thousands of school kids across the UK have taken to the streets to protest against an escalating  ecological crisis.
  • Many are arguing that these kids shouldn’t have missed school.
  • But would their protest have generated so much conversation, had they not skipped school for it?
  • We have long been neglecting environmental causes and millennial kids aren’t wrong in calling us out on it. 

It is important that more and more teens stand up for environmental causes.

Look outside your window, check the air quality in your city or visit the nearest landfill, and you’ll know why we need to instill awareness regarding the environmental causes among our own school going kids. We have failed this planet miserably. Yet, this travesty isn’t a concern for many because they will be long gone before this planet becomes uninhabitable. Who is going to be left behind to deal with all the filth that we are piling on earth? Millennial kids, who are still in school. And they are aware enough thankfully, to know what they are in for.

It is not only critical to raise awareness among students but to also encourage them to develop empathy towards planet earth. To question the apathy of grey-haired industrialist and politicians, inconsiderate and careless grown-up citizens and demand why are we running away from a much necessary debate on climate change. It is not as if we are too old to mend our ways or that industrialists and politicians are completely helpless to at least initiate a change. But no one wants to. It isn’t those in power of doing something whose apathy is appalling, we the regular folks are equally responsible. Unless the government imposes fines, we don’t bother changing our ways. It takes fine and force to keep us from doing further damage, but the young millennials can do better.

Many people are criticising these protests, saying that they don’t solve the issue at hand.

The students’ protest in the UK is a sign that youngsters understand the crisis at hand and they also understand the consequences of our inaction. It is high time that a global movement of young millennials rises, to express their thoughts on environmental issues across the world. Speaking up is the first step in directing in getting attention to the problem. Many people are criticising these protests, saying that they don’t solve the issue at hand. That students belong in the class, not in the streets. They are questioning their maturity on grounds that they aren’t old enough to even vote. But then what have we achieved yet, people who have decades of experience and are way over the age to start voting?

Age and maturity give us no credibility here. Our inaction and indifference to environmental causes, in fact, takes it from us. The earth belongs to the future and to those who are willing to love it.

Picture Credit: The Guardian

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 Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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