| By Alyssa Martinez
At just 11 years old, Greta Thunberg, who is now a 16-year-old climate activist, fell into depression after discovering how human activity has impacted our planet and the sad reality that our society continues to ignore the topic completely.
In between those years, Greta learned everything about climate change; the impacts that greenhouse gas emissions, waste, travel, etc. have on our ecosystems, the air, and our future. The United Nations has declared that there are 11 years to prevent irreversible effects of climate and that we are the last generation to do so.
Greta then decided to take action in her personal life by gearing her family into living a more sustainable life. However, that was not enough for her. She knew that to make a drastic impact and completely reverse the effects of climate change, our political leaders needed to act, and they needed to act now.
For roughly 3 weeks in August of 2018, before the parliamentary election, Greta spent every day outside the Swedish parliament demanding that her leaders take climate action. She wanted Sweden to be aligned with the Paris Agreement in order to reduce the projected global temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius.
At first, she spent the days by herself. She would post a photo every day holding a hand-painted sign that said “skolstrejk för klimatet”, which translates to “school strike for the climate.” Slowly but surely, many other students began to join her in these daily strikes in order to bring more awareness to the issue at hand. The rest is history.
Post the parliamentary election, Greta decided to make it a routine and skip school every Friday and strike for climate action in front of the Swedish parliament. Greta started to gain international recognition and spent the following months giving speeches to United Nation leaders, the World Economic Forum, TED Talks, and was interviewed by magazines as well.
She organized the Fridays For Future movement and inspired people around the world to skip school on Fridays to strike and demand climate action from political leaders across the globe.
“During the week of March 15, there were at least 1.6 million strikers on all 7 continents, in more than 125 countries and in well over 2000 places.”
IDEAS For Us Orlando was inspired by Greta Thunberg and her Fridays For Future movement and held a climate strike in their own community on March 24th, 2019 in front of Orlando’s City Hall.
This is the first climate march in Central Florida joining in solidarity with the Fridays for Future movement. Local news channels, City of Orlando employees, and downtown business professionals stopped by the demonstration to share support for bringing attention to climate action in Orlando.
Some of the climate actions the group discussed was to implement more:
All of these actions are projects which IDEAS For Us has proposals and contacts to complete in 2019.
If interested in supporting climate action projects with IDEAS For Us, please see this link to start your support: https://ideasforus.org/sponsor/
IDEAS For Us will be leading another climate action event on September 27th, 2019, here is the link to find out more details and RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/310995939840197
Below are various links to speeches Greta Thunberg has given, as well as resources to get involved in the climate action movement.
Resources to get involved in your community:
For more information on local events like tree plantings, climate strikes, and more in Orlando, check out our social media pages!