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Youth climate strike: 'a diagnosis being made en masse,' says ER doc

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March 15, the Ides of March. Hundreds of thousands of youth and allies are in the streets, marching for a healthier planet: the pictures bring tears to my eyes.

There is a sense of a diagnosis being made, en masse. The children of the world have shunned the system created by adults—the schools, as being inadequate to the moment. They are looking into each other’s eyes, confirming that climate change is an existential threat to their health and well-being, and that their elders have failed to protect them. The leadership of adults is being questioned on an unprecedented global scale.

There is comfort (and inaction) in the feeling that someone, somewhere is probably taking care of things. There is silence and loneliness, particularly for young people who are just feeling their way into adult spaces, in the thought, “this seems horribly off to me, but no one else is saying anything, so maybe I’m wrong.”

That has been stripped away. The scale of the climate crisis and the threat it poses to human life has just been made clear in the starkest possible terms by youthful truth-tellers.

There is tremendous value in stating a diagnosis out loud. In the Emergency Department trauma room, it gets the team on the same page and is the beginning of an adequate plan.........

© National Observer