'Youth Climate Strike': Students All Over Join Protest To Address Climate Change

Download Audio
Young demonstrators join the International Youth Climate Strike event at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, March 15, 2019. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Young demonstrators join the International Youth Climate Strike event at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, March 15, 2019. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

With Meghna Chakrabarti

The "Youth Climate Strike." It’s their future, and their planet. We talk to young students about their urgent call to adults to take action on climate change now.

Want more from the show? You can get messages right from our hosts (and more opportunities to engage with the show) sent directly to your inbox with the On Point newsletter. Subscribe here.


Andrew Revkin, strategic adviser for environmental and science journalism at National Geographic Society who's been covering global warming for 30 years. (@Revkin)

Feliquan Charlemagne, 17-year-old high school student and national creative director of Youth Climate Strike USA.

Krishna Ariola, 20-year-old, fourth-year psychology student in Bacolod, Philippines, who organized the protest there. (@krishnariola) (@linghodph)

Sophie Sleeman, 17-year-old student completing her A-Levels at Exeter College in Exeter, England. Co-organizer of the protest there. Member of the UK student climate network. (@SleemanSophie)

Tom Maher, lecturer in sociology at Purdue University whose research focuses on youth activism and social movements. (@tommaher_soc)

From The Reading List

Associated Press: "Make love, not CO2: Students worldwide demand climate action" — "From the South Pacific to the edge of the Arctic Circle, students mobilized by word of mouth and social media are skipping class to protest what they see as the failures by their governments to take tough action against global warming.

"Friday’s rallies were one of the biggest international climate change actions yet, involving hundreds of thousands of students in more than 100 countries around the globe.

"The coordinated 'school strikes' were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who began holding solitary demonstrations outside the Swedish parliament last year."

Time: "'It Will Be Too Late for My Generation.' Meet the Young People Organizing a Massive Climate Change Protest" — "Thousands of schoolchildren across the U.S. will be protesting on Friday, uniting with young people around the globe in a goal they believe is critical to their collective future: pressuring world leaders into acting on climate change, particularly to cut carbon emissions over the next decade in order to reduce the extent of global warming.

"'March 15 is going to make history,' 13-year-old Alexandria Villasenor, a co-founder of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike, tells TIME. 'There has never been a global day of climate action where students around the world are taking action for the same exact cause.'

"Young people in nearly 100 countries, including China, Uganda, New Zealand and Chile, are striking in solidarity on the same day, according to Villasenor. In the U.S., the movement was primarily organized by three schoolkids — Villasenor of New York, Haven Coleman of Colorado and Isra Hirsi of Minnesota (who also happens to be the daughter of freshman member of Congress Illan Omar) — with an assist from hundreds of teens and tweens on the state and local level."

Scientific American: "Opinion: Why Scientists Should Support the Youth Climate Strike" — "They are striking because our world leaders have yet to acknowledge, prioritize, or properly address the climate crisis. They are striking because marginalized communities across the world—especially communities of color, disabled communities, and low-income communities— are already disproportionately impacted by climate change. They are striking because their futures are at stake.

"Their actions are backed by the best available science which shows that we need to rapidly decarbonize our economy and deeply transform society in order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. They are treating the issue of climate change with the urgency that science and justice demand.

"We ourselves, as a movement of science advocates, have taken to the streets in our millions over the last two years to fight for our communities and our planet. We offer everyone else who does the same our unreserved support and solidarity."

Stefano Kotsonis produced this hour for broadcast.

This program aired on March 18, 2019.



More from On Point

Listen Live