By Sarah Brill, Sci-Tech Editor
Founded by Greta Thunberg, Fridays for Future is a climate movement aimed at both informing the public about the rising temperatures of the Earth and pushing political officials to advocate for change in government. In 2018, Greta Thunberg sat outside the Swedish parliament every school day until she was noticed by government officials and passersby. Once she had a following, she founded Fridays for the Future, where every Friday, school-kids from all over the globe leave class and march, sit outside, or leave the classroom to show that education is pointless without a foreseeable future. With data provided by the Mauna Loa Observatory, whose goal is to report accurate climate information, the Earth is heating at such a rapid rate, there may not be a future worth getting an education for.
One of the demands of the Fridays for Future movement is that the Swedish government reduce the country’s carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement. “The Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels; and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degree Celsius, recognizing that this would substantially reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.” This was in response to data released by Mauna Loa Observatory, which showed a substantial increase in the global temperature.
Additionally, the movement aims to promote a global temperature below 1.5 degree Celsius and a call to listen to climate science. One of the contributing factors to our Earth’s heating is fossil fuel (coal and oil) usage. According to a model on January 21, 2020, over 5 trillion dollars in subsidies are used to fund major fossil fuel organizations. Unfortunately, this source of energy provides 80% of the world’s energy and has subsequently caused a 1 degree Celsius increase in global temperature annually. Fossil fuels are driving half of the world’s global warming.
The reality is that we are treating the Earth like garbage. Every Earth day, people all over the globe make “cute” Instagram posts demonstrating their “love” for the Earth, but by the next day they are eating meat in excess, littering in the streets and rivers, thereby going directly against what they said the previous day. Trash is in the ocean, animals are dying from wildfires, towns are being destroyed by the wrath of mother nature, and all because of our ignorance to address the problem at hand.
If you believe that the Earth revolves around the sun, that gravity is existent, laws of motion detect our actions, and human physiology governs our bodies, then you believe in climate change. All these scientific phenomena have one thing in common: qualified scientists who analyzed data to answer a hypothesis. If we cared about our world the rest of the year as much as we do on this one day, there might be hope. And there is hope. Last September, I attended a Fridays for Future march with Courtney Marks, SCW ‘21, and we marched alongside the youth of the future. It was empowering to see so many fellow young people involved in such a prominent issue. It gives me hope for the future that our future is not in the hands of those who say they “don’t care” or “won’t be around,” but rather activists who choose to protect our Earth. Let us all strive to keep our planet safe, our oceans a little cleaner, our forests more preserved, and our atmosphere a little less polluted – because our future depends on it.