“Your election is our future” was the young people’s theme in Europe this May. They demonstrated by the thousands in cities and towns as elections for the European parliament approached. They demanded them to be a “climate election.” It should turn the tide on climate chaos and bring in politicians who understand its seriousness and act responsibly on climate change.
In a movement initiated by the young Swedish student Greta Thunberg, they skipped school on Fridays, held demonstrations, sought various means to bring their concerns – for a livable future for them – to the public and governments.
In the Rhine area in Germany where I was visiting, 12,000 marched in Cologne declaring “the clock is ticking for the planet.” In Neuss, upper-elementary and high school students met with the city council for a “Climate Talk.” In Bonn, their demand included a halt to subsidization of the fossil fuels which drive climate change, and a carbon tax on them.
In Grevenbroich, a 16-year old said: I should be attending classes in geography, art, German, math, and social studies today, but I am demonstrating for more climate protection. I can’t vote yet, but I am fighting for this goal. Our future depends on it.
Oh, the wisdom of the young! The very next month, they had to endure another scorching heat wave with 4 degrees C hotter than normal temperatures spreading up from the Sahara and stalling across western Europe, one, intensely scorching day as much as 10 ºC higher.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service reported the June temperatures being the highest ever recorded, worldwide.
With voter turnout the highest in 20 years, the Greens Party surged to its strongest performance, gaining one-fourth of all seats in the European parliament and promising the fight for climate protection the young people demand.