There is no planet B
When Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg decided that she couldn’t wait for the adults to take climate change for the existential threat that it is, and started a school strike to draw attention to the issue, did she imagine the scale of what would come? It was a truly impressive butterfly effect to see schools across Ireland close early so that 10,000 students of all ages could converge on the houses of parliament in Dublin, with dozens more protests across the country.
System change not climate change
In time with a deep drumbeat, the good-natured crowd marched in spring sunshine, from St Stephen’s Green, down Dawson St, and took over all of Molesworth St in front of the Dail, Ireland’s houses of parliament (yes, we kept the British colonial structure after independence in 1921). The placards were many, with some catchy slogans used again and again: There is no planet B. System change not climate change. Even this: F$ck climate change.
The students have called on the Irish Government to declare a climate emergency and have issued a list of six demands to lawmakers:
- A transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and a pledge to leave all Irish fossil fuels in the ground.
- A climate emergency declaration – including a national information campaign.
- A socially fair transition to a carbon-neutral society, preventing need for regular citizens to carry the economic burden.
- Immediate implementation of all the recommendations of the Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change.
- Stronger regulations on corporations that are causing the climate crisis.
- The implementation of a Green New Deal that ensures all young school leavers can have livelihoods that don’t damage the planet.
This seems like a reasonable start.
Irish Times report on the Dublin event, including video: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/thousands-of-students-in-ireland-join-international-climate-change-protests-1.3827629
Wikipedia article on the movement: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_strike_for_climate
Header image: Some of the 10,000-strong crowd, gathered outside Ireland’s parliament, 15 March 2019. Source: Irish Times video report.