Vital Signs by Carl Bucholt
Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl who for the past year, instead of attending school, has spent every Friday sitting in front of the Swedish Parliament with a sign that says: ‘Strike for Climate.’ Many adults are upset with her for not being in school and tell her she should be studying and learning information in school so she can grow up and do
something about climate change. Her response is “Why should I be studying for a future that soon may be no more, when no one is doing anything to save that future? And what is the point of learning facts, when the most important facts clearly mean nothing to our society?”
Greta is not given to hyperbole. She has autism and speaks from the heart, without guile or sarcasm. She is genuinely scared and angry – scared, because the natural world is rapidly falling apart, and angry, because world leaders are not doing enough to prevent it.
The science is clear; climate change is real, accelerating, caused by human activity, and we can do something to repair much of the damage – if we act right now.
Since Greta began her one-person climate strike, students all over the world have joined her, and on Friday, September 20, students in the United States and around the globe will walk out of their schools in a show of solidarity with Greta – and as a visible signal to their political leaders that the time for empty rhetoric has passed. It is time to take the climate crisis seriously. Greta Thunberg and other student leaders have organized the Climate Strike, and are asking adults to join them; to walk out of their work places and support their call for meaningful policy change to address climate change. Please consider joining them.
Editor’s note: See upcoming issues of the Vermont News Guide for more on how community members along with local schools and businesses will respond to Greta’s challenge!