The remarkable story of a young Swedish climate strike activist and a commitment of 25% of EU budget from 2021 to attempting to respond to the effects of fossil-fuel driven emissions of CO2. She has really manged to speak truth to power if the promise of Jean Claude Junker to redirect EU budget is to be believed. The attention of media around the world has been captured by this sole agent who has activated school age students around the world to take to the streets and “march4climate.” Even in coal-dominated Poland small stirrings of student activism are emerging – one in Katowice on 15 March which has been identified as a date for action around the world.
It is likely that human agency is unlikely to have the time or power to shift the system-level dynamic of economic growth that is the ‘elephant in the room’ behind the existential threat of climate change. But if one young girl in her mid-teens can exercise her agency to this extent, then hope for system change is still alive.
In this article, George Monbiot reflects on what mass movements of activists need to do to avoid the failures of previous activist movements such as Occupy Wall Street.
Greta Thunberg in London April 2019 – Extinction Rebellion and idea for a general strike.