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Children are right to youth shame our leaders

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20.09.2019

We tell our children and young people all the time that they can change the world. It’s not often that they go out and do precisely that.

On our streets yesterday today, school students – and adults – took to strike are striking for a better climate future. They joined millions globally in what is believed to be the biggest day of climate action in history.

The climate strike movement has injected new urgency into climate action. As is so often the case with politics, leaders may only respond when they feel irresistible pressure. They will find it hard to ignore that millions are now taking to the streets for climate action.

Youth climate change activist Greta Thunberg, left, prepares to speak at a House Foreign Affairs Committee subcommittee hearing on climate change in Washington this month. Credit:AP

Greta Thunberg is the movement’s improbable global figurehead. A 16-year-old schoolgirl, she took to striking, on her own, outside the Swedish parliament last August. Shortly after, students in Stockholm joined her. Student protests in other countries quickly followed.

Greta has been described as the Joan of Arc of climate change, a prophet-warrior waging a rhetorical battle against political inaction. Some of the praise has been overblown, at least if the suggestion is that she has........

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