From the Philippines to Seoul, New Zealand to London, New York to Sydney, over 6 million people took to the streets to take a stand against the climate crisis. Even those who weren’t able to physically join the protest took to social media to take a stand. Consequently, the strike garnered the attention of those who were just too in denial to take notice.
Blazing the trail of the weeklong protest was Greta Thunberg who had single-handedly started a global phenomenon. The Swedish teenager did not express her sentiments sparingly when she had addressed the U.S. Congress and the U.N. While that was happening, other people looked to other young climate leaders as well such as Autumn Peltier, Artemisa Xakriabá, and Ridhima Pandey who are poised to become the next generation of leaders that the world needs right now. The effect was overwhelming, but such initiatives will only gain ground once we take action. And so the question now is: What’s next?
Of course, this is something that The Global Climate Strike is well aware of. On their official website, the organization cites clear and concrete actions that virtually anyone from any country can take--it even specifies country-specific campaigns. One could also sign petitions such as Fossil Free Facebook. Other than that, there are also skill workshops for those who want to learn more about the environmental movement and become more involved.
The U.N. Climate Action Summit, which wrapped up last week, also has the #ActNow Climate Campaign, an easy way for people to make small changes to reduce their carbon footprint.
A simple Google search of the Global Climate Strike will show that much of the coverage of the event stopped right after it ended. Not a lot of news sources report on the next phase of the phenomenon, which is actually the most crucial part. Action doesn’t stop at reporting or social media noise. It begins once we look away from our screens and start doing something about it. The frenzied online activity may die down, but that doesn’t mean nothing is being done. It is up to us to stay updated, to be informed, and to change our own lifestyles one small step at a time.