Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 27 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 9/19/19

Why Should You Climate Strike This Friday, September 20?

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   7 comments
Message Bill McKibben
Become a Fan
  (19 fans)

From The Nation

Let us count the ways.

School strike for climate -- save the world by changing the rules says 16-year-old Greta Thunberg
School strike for climate -- save the world by changing the rules says 16-year-old Greta Thunberg
(Image by YouTube, Channel: TEDx Talks)
  Details   DMCA

(Image by Covering Climate Now,)   Details   DMCA
This story was published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story, co-founded by The Nation and Columbia Journalism Review .

A year ago, inspired by Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, young people around the world began climate striking -- walking out of school for a few hours on Fridays to demand action against the global warming that darkens their future. In May, when 1.4 million kids around the world walked out of school, they asked for adults to join them next time. That next time is September 20 (in a few countries September 27), and it is shaping up to be the biggest day of climate action in the planet's history. Everyone from big trade unions to a thousand workers at the Amazon headquarters, and from college kids to senior citizens, are setting the day aside to rally in their cities and towns for faster action from our governments and industries. You can find out what's happening in your community at

But it will only be a success on the scale we need if lots of people who aren't the regular suspects join in. Many people, of course, can't do without a day's pay or work for bosses who would fire them if they missed work. So, it really matters that those of us with the freedom to rally do so. Since I published the first book for a general audience on climate change 30 years ago this month, I've had lots of time to think about the various ways to move people to action. Let me offer a few:

 Strike, because the people who did the least to cause this crisis suffer first and worst -- the people losing their farms to deserts and watching their islands sink beneath the waves aren't the ones who burned the coal and gas and oil.

 Strike, because sun and wind are now the cheapest way to generate power around the world -- if we could match the political power of the fossil fuel industry we could make fast progress.

 Strike, because we've already lost half the animals on the planet since 1970 -- the earth is a lonelier place.

 Strike, because our governments move with such painful slowness, treating climate change as, at worst, one problem on a long list.

 Strike, because this could be a great opportunity -- and maybe the last opportunity -- to transform our society towards justice and towards joy. Green New Deals have been proposed around the world; they are a way forward.

 Strike, because forests now seem like fires waiting to happen.

 Strike, because young people have asked us to. In a well-ordered society, when kids make a reasonable request their elders should say yes -- in this case with real pride and hope that the next generations are standing up for what matters.

 Strike, because every generation faces some great crisis, and this is ours.

 Strike, because half the children in New Delhi have irreversible lung damage simply from breathing the air.

 Strike, because Exxon and the rest knew all about global warming in the 1980s, and then lied so they could keep cashing in.

 Strike, because what we do this decade will matter for hundreds of thousands of years.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 2   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Bill McKibben Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Bill McKibben is the author of a dozen books, including The End of Nature and Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. A former staff writer for The New Yorker, he writes regularly for Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, and The (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Movement to Divest from Fossil Fuels Gains Momentum

We're not even close to being prepared for the rising waters

Idle No More, Think Occupy With Deeper Roots

Why Dakota Is the New Keystone

Why the Planet Is Happy That Bernie Sanders Is Running for President

Global Warming's Terrifying New Math

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend