Over the past few months, young people around the world have been protesting inaction on climate change by leaving their classrooms and marching in the streets. On Friday, March 15, will be the largest day of protest yet, with marches in over 1600 locations around the world.
We, the March for Science, an international community of scientists, science advocates, teachers, and parents, emphatically support the Global Youth Climate Strike.
We commit to doing whatever we can to lift up the voices of young people and encourage their leadership. Their generation will be greatly impacted by the effects of climate change. It is critical that their voices are heard.
They are striking because our world leaders have yet to acknowledge, prioritize, or properly address the climate crisis. They are striking because marginalized communities across the world—especially communities of color, disabled communities, and low-income communities— are already disproportionately impacted by climate change. They are striking because their futures are at stake.
Their actions are backed by the best available science which shows that we need to rapidly decarbonize our economy and deeply transform society in order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. They are treating the issue of climate change with the urgency that science and justice demand.
We ourselves, as a movement of science advocates, have taken to the streets in our millions over the last two years to fight for our communities and our planet. We offer everyone else who does the same our unreserved support and solidarity.
Around the world, tens of thousands of scientists have signed letters endorsing the climate strikers, including the US, UK, Germany/Austria/Switzerland, Belgium, Finland, Australia and New Zealand.
As educators, admissions officers, and employers, we say to all the young people taking to the streets: We will not judge you negatively for missing class. You are doing exactly what is needed. Should you apply to our institutions and organizations in the future, we will view your activism as a wonderful asset.
To adults—particularly political leaders—who are criticizing students for skipping school, please stand down. Our generations have failed to act. It is time to get behind the courageous actions of our young people.
Our youth have done their homework on climate change—it’s about time that our leaders behave like they have done theirs.
For more information about the Climate Strikes, and to join an action near you, please visit Youth Climate Strike and Fridays for Future.