With pupils around the UK leaving school to protest the government’s response to climate change, we ask what young people think about these big issues
Greta Thunberg has become something of a heroine in the youth and children’s work world. The Swedish 16-year-old has organised strikes and protests around the world and challenged numerous world leaders on issues of climate change.
Greta epitomises the potential power our children and young people have to change the world. Many other youngsters are following this little power-house’s example, with pupils around the UK leaving school to protest against the government and urge them to do more to save our planet.
There is vastly differing opinion about whether children should be skipping school to protest these issues [more here], but we wanted to hear an actual young person’s opinion. So, we spoke to Thelma Commey, the new Methodist youth president. Here are some of her thoughts:
It’s a global strike where young people are taking the lead and calling for action from all people to get involved in this climate emergency that we’re facing.
As a representative of young people, it’s very important that young people are speaking out about this and it is my responsibility to echo that and to make sure that young people’s message of “this is what’s going on” and “what are we doing as a whole entire globe to listen to the cry of our earth and what it’s saying?”
It’s very dear to my heart – just as it is to all the young people who are realising that even though school is important, they’re going to step out of that and go on and take this step of action.
What we are trying to do is bring awareness and to start those conversations on every level – on a global level, a national level and a local level – to stimulate people to think: “What changes can I make in my personal life?” “What changes can we make as a community?” “What changes can we make as a business?” to address this emergency that we’re facing.
We’re encouraging everybody to look into their lives and think: “What can I do that could impact this?” “What life changes can I make that could make the situation better?” Personally, practically and immediately.
As Christians we believe that God has entrusted us to steward the creation that he has given us. We are blessed with a beautiful world and it’s almost unloving to do things that destroy it – as young people we recognise this and it’s very dear to our hearts as Christian young people because it’s what we think God would want us to do – to care for the world that he’s given us.
That’s what 18-year-old Thelma thinks, but what do your young people think? What do you think we be doing to tackle the impending climate change crisis? Is protesting during school time an appropriate way for our children to respond? Get in touch on social media @ycwmag.