The nyTimes reports that what began as one student’s vigil calling for action on climate change has gone global, with school strikes planned in more than 100 countries on Friday.
When a Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, sat before her country’s Parliament in August, she was a solitary protester, armed with fliers that said she was refusing to attend school to protest adults’ lack of concern for her future.
She sought to draw attention to the perilous state of the climate: Data from NASA has shown the past five years to be the warmest on record, and a report last year by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that without aggressive action, the world will face worsening wildfires, food shortages and other catastrophic effects as early as 2040.
Ms. Thunberg’s protest quickly drew notice, with others joining in. After the Swedish elections in September, she made her strike a weekly event most Fridays. Then it began to spread, both online under the hashtags #climatestrike and #FridaysForFuture and on the streets.