Thousands of websites will be unavailable during the Global Climate Strike, with millions of us taking to the streets to demand climate justice and an end to the age of fossil fuels.
The purpose of the Global Climate Strike is to join young people for a week of actions calling for urgent, radical change. We have a responsibility to support the youth and encourage the Fridays For Future strike movement. I educate myself about the crisis, I worry about its far-reaching implications, and I introduce small changes to the way I live, but what else can I do? Well, perhaps the best thing I can do right now is to be an ally to a new generation of climate activists.
It’s just over a year since a 15-year-old named Greta Thunberg wagged off school to demonstrate outside the Swedish parliament. It feels like much longer than a year because of the extraordinary impact Thunberg has had across the world stage, contributing to a sharp rise in awareness and a greater willingness to engage in protest. Thunberg has also caught the attention of politicians on every continent, and this week addressed US congress. "I don’t want you to listen to me," she told the largely respectful lawmakers, “I want you to listen to the scientists. I want you to unite behind the science, and I want you to take real action.”
I’m fond of this line from Real Life article The Next Generation: “When young people receive old ideas, they find the inconsistencies.” Yes, and they’re furious. What they’re finding will cause our old ideas to unravel, and that is something to embrace; something hopeful. We must support young people because we've done them a great disservice. We owe them. We must have faith in the young because their eyes are wide open, and they are engaged; they understand that this crisis extends to a broad range of issues. They are our best hope for forcing real systemic change, and our best hope for saving the world.
If the fears of children aren't tipping you into action, I can suggest two articles published this week by an adult named Bill McKibben. Firstly, why you should join the global climate strike this Friday (for The Guardian) is a call to action, Thunberg-like in its bluntness. Secondly, read The Climate Crisis Is a Human Issue (for Patagonia) in which he reminds us that this crisis extends into every aspect of our lives and that we’ll measure success by one very significant metric. "Climate isn’t an issue—it’s a lens, a way to understand the economy, politics and foreign affairs. If growth was how we understood the 20th century, survival is how we’ll bottom line the 21st."
Find your nearest strike
There is significant, unprecedented global support for tomorrow’s action, with trade unions, local authorities, schools and business and many more on side. If you’re able to join in, you should find your nearest protest. I’ll be showing my support in Nottingham’s old market square from 11am.
Join the digital strike
This website, and also New Adventures (our primary source of income right now) will be closed for 24 hours.
It’s encouraging to see tech workers across the globe mobilising to join the strike, and many notable companies (WordPress, Kickstarter, Greenpeace, Lush, etc.) will participate to some degree. Whether you work in big tech or work for yourself, you should consider striking, even if just for an hour.
My websites and I will return on the 21st.
The strike was a huge success, with millions taking to the streets in 185 countries (Guardian report). Several hundred gathered in Nottingham’s Old Market Square, and I was particulary happy to see so many good friends (and a few I haven't seen in years).