Last Friday, 4 million protesters worldwide took to the streets to demand action against climate change. This was the largest mass protest for action against climate change in history. Yet it began with only one Swedish student, Greta Thunberg, in August 2018. The majority of participants in the Global Climate Strikes are students. They miss lessons every Friday to promote one clear message: what is the point in education if there is no future?

Reactions to climate protests have been divided. Opponents argue that the climate strikers are causing disruption to the economy as well as stunting their own education (not to mention the fact that not attending school is against the law in most countries). Yet proponents of the movement, known as #FridaysforFuture, argue that climate change will have drastic effects and therefore warrants drastic actions.

Public opinion seems to be shifting in favour of the climate strikers. Last week, an eight-country poll found that a majority of people recognise climate change as an ‘emergency’ and believe conventional politics is failing to respond. The poll also found that the climate crisis is viewed as the most important issue facing the world, ahead of concerns such as migration, terrorism and the economy.

Is it okay to skip school to attend climate protests? Or can conventional political means be used to achieve the same goal? Also, would you support your child skipping school to attend a climate protest? Will you be attending yourself? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

Image Credits: (cc) Wikipedia – Anders Hellberg


80 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Marius

    That’s one stupid question. Do you ask a labour union if they rather want to strike on the weekends? It obviously needs to take place within the week to have some effect and also to raise people’s awareness.

  2. avatar
    Valentin

    its something new. school doesnt teach about.

  3. avatar
    Ana

    Of course. Even professors should. We need a major shift in counsciousness.

  4. avatar
    Giulia

    Skipping school is the act of protest itself… it’s the mean to get people’s attention.

    • avatar
      Franziska

      No, it’s not. Because the young people protesting will also accept lifestyle changes we will need to make if humanity wants to survive without catastrophic upheaval.
      If not, they will be even more stupid than their parents’ generation who have known about the threat to our environment for at least 40 years and not done enough to force our exit from fossil fuels.

  5. avatar
    Sónia

    If nobody did nothing about it, yes, unfortantlly all of us should be ashamed for not doing nothing instead of criticize Who did. Shame on us, Shame on you. Thanks to her, the world moved forward to worry about it, Go Greta

  6. avatar
    Giovanna

    It’s a stupid question. Obviously it is wrong!
    If we let passing the message that it is right, soon we will have a worldwide army of teenagers who will skip school and will be justified, even those who don’t give a damn about climate change

  7. avatar
    Joanna

    “Why go to school if they won’t listen to the educated?”

  8. avatar
    Natalia

    I wonder who are those people puting such questions :) She is actually trying to save the planet we all sit our “smart, debating” asses on. It’s being destroyed by the greed and our ignorance. If it wasn’t for her skipping the school, our planet as well as the survival of our now ignorant species WOULDN’T STAND A CHANCE! Why would she need this school if our planet is breaking down because of the innaction? And the failure to ACT NOW, TOGETHER, will cost us our planet. :) School…

  9. avatar
    Mario

    No. In order to safe the planet you MUST study and learn something about science.

  10. avatar
    João

    She is learning more from life itself by going outside, travelling, debating, getting to know people from all over, reading and studying scientific reports, meeting politicians, scientists and other activists… Doing what she is already bravely doing. So… yes, it is OK to skip school for now and demand a change! In the near future she will need even more bravery to deal with all the hate and bigotry so she can go back to school and have a safe life and complete her studies but we know she has the strength. Look at how many people she inspired and mobilized all over the world!

  11. avatar
    Oliver

    A German professor already noted months ago, that he’d rather see even more students/pupils “skip school” on the matter – it shows that they have understood the scope of the problem.

  12. avatar
    Timur

    If things go the same way in 50 years there will be no schools… no people…

  13. avatar
    Rumy

    No is not OK. Do you know what else is not OK – her fame hungry parents and and whoever is supporting this. driving this mentally ill child to insanity. She trully believes doomsday is coming tomorrow..

    • avatar
      Chris

      Rumy I notice they don’t protest at lithium mines used for electric car batteries??? They scar the local environment and destroy eco systems but I guess they help middle class lefties virtue signal so they’re ok

  14. avatar
    Lucky Man

    Thats how Crazy is this shit world’s fake mind leaders who want to end planet with them without leaving behind anything good for the future, Now they looking for the ways to stop it #shit I’m preparing my kids too to Join remember its starts anywhere small and it grows.#Climatechangeprotests are on point and every one of us should be part of it to save the might planet earth sure

  15. avatar
    Zoltan

    Theoretically, I think her speech it’s a real impact…BUT ONLY IF she really understands what she’s talking about. But unfortunately I have the feeling that the text she exposed in front of the EU leaders was written by some adult “non-profit” members who wanted to impress people with it. So, I have the feeling that it was a manipulative action…AND! I’m sure against any child manipulation for obtaining any political debate win or influence whatsoever! Thank You!

  16. avatar
    Blagovest

    Generally I believe it is ok to skip school to stand for a cause the person holds important. And in general I absolutely support youth activism.
    The performance at the UN though – I prefer not to comment.

  17. avatar
    Mathias

    Yes! Whwn adults dont do enough. Brave girl

  18. avatar
    Alexandra

    Her actions & speech alone brought the climate change first in the news agenda. No other political means have had the same effect so far.
    The burden of the fact that she had to skip school to achieve that effect should be on our shoulders, not hers…

    • avatar
      Juliette

      Alexandra In general I agree but I do believe that the situation and the publicity imposed on her are getting out of (her) control and at the end she might end up being the victim of those (including her parents) who are using her for their own publicity and out of fear for not being politically correct!

    • avatar
      Darrell

      Juliette best way to prevent all that is to call and pressure your politicians on what they are doing to clean up their state/Provence/country. Do not relent

    • avatar
      Alexandra

      Juliette I totally agree, it is too much pressure for a 16yo. However, my point is that if the conditions were different I guess she wouldn’t have to go through this because climate change would be no1 issue in every panel, for any policy maker and a top priority for everyone in order to ensure that 16year olds would be in school where they belong and not in the streets fighting for an endangered future…

  19. avatar
    Wasim

    Absolutely not
    With all due respect to her and to the serious issue of climate change and its effect, however let’s face it, she gave a great show however didn’t change anything, while staying in school, finishing it and with the ability the European country gives to all its citizens to not just get into politics but have the chance and ability to dream to be president or MP, then and only then she could change a lot not just “empty” words and show

  20. avatar
    Martin

    nom it is not ok and should be punished. Why “climate strike” should be a legitime reason to skip the school, how about other rioting ?

  21. avatar
    Blagovest

    skipping a few days of school to stand for a cause doesn’t mean abandoning school altogether.

    • avatar
      Wasim

      But it means she concentrate on climate change more than her school itself which will reflect on her grade eventually
      What i am saying is
      It’s good to know and be aware about climate change and start to change yourself and surrounding, however that should not interrupt and take more than it should from your study or career, cause a poor man defending climate change doesn’t have the same effect of rich man defending climate change, with all due respect to poor, but i am just trying to demonstrate my point

    • avatar
      Blagovest

      Wasim School is not supposed to occupy all of a person’s time. I cannot really accept the stance that youth’s sole occupation should be studying. I doubt the effect will be significant.

  22. avatar
    Vci

    Yes it is, why are we going to school? To be prepared for future, what if there is no bright future for us and our kids?? This young lady has the courage for all of us together!!! Adults are behaving like they are ruling the world!!! She is right adults are thinking only about money, only about today, there will be no future for us, this “dinosaurs” who are taking decisions today give us no chance for tomorrow!

  23. avatar
    Todor

    I think she’s way over her mates on intellectual development and even smarter than many adults, so missing school is not gonna be any issue to her.

  24. avatar
    Charlotte

    She hasn`t skipped school….. so way this discussion?

  25. avatar
    Ondřej

    Is it okay to skip school for save the Word? Stupid question.

  26. avatar
    Carole galbraith

    My 7 year old granddaughter has left school @ 11am on 2 Fridays over the last 6 months to join climate change protesters. She feels she is doing her best to raise awareness of the campaign and hopes her small action will help. She has learnt that politicians around the world are the decision-makers but she thinks they don’t care enough about the problems being caused by climate change. She informed her headmaster there wasn’t much point having an education if the planet was destroyed.

  27. avatar
    Dan

    I would say it’s okay to skip school for the climate on a Friday,but only on condition that any child that takes part has to make up the lost day on a Saturday or Sunday.
    Lets see then how many of these brave climate warriors continue with this farce.

  28. avatar
    Ben

    This is a really stupid question – you know this right?

  29. avatar
    Franck

    No, it’s not. But It’s OK and effective to skip mc Donald’s, TV, cell phone, Nike, computers, plastics, buying any industrial things, consuming energy in anyway, leisure trips, processed foods, aso…

  30. avatar
    Pro Surf Girls

    You know what is funny with it. Its that she is telling to take action for the same people that were polluting the earth and destroying it with there corporations,politicians.:D You think this UN politicians care of course not if they did they took action 70 years ago when UN was just established..

  31. avatar
    Robert

    Poor little girl she is being used as a promotional puppet
    (her parents are actisits too ) with mum and dad pulling the strings
    it will change nothing
    —try china,United states, india russia etc . the big polluters of the world
    and people must prepared to make personal life style changes like
    stop using cars or going on holidays etc
    UK and Europe collecting plastic bags and riding bikes is a waste of time,
    in years gone by we had ban the bomb demos it changed nothing

  32. avatar
    Michelle

    Its easy to play with young in experienced minds, the fact that this little girl is so distressed, the whole world should be memorized about helping her with her anger, maybe by not unloading adult problems that children cannot see a solution for, sheer pushing of one sided indoctrination in rebellious youth…. the way this little one is going, she will later be the adult that cannot see the problem solve and will resort to violence…
    Most of her issues seem to have nothing to do with climate change
    Is extermination of the elderly an answer.
    Or an easy answer for a priviledged society whose kids are expected to contribute little and have blockers in brains to problem solve.
    Time to grow up healthier and in a happier place, cos thats how wars get started.

  33. avatar
    José

    yes, and skip school to fight corrupted politicians in al EU states

  34. avatar
    Mario

    The question is how long can she do it?

  35. avatar
    Iulia

    I stayed in school, what did that give me? The planet is still dying

  36. avatar
    Istvan

    No it is not. Hard work, logical thinking is the way to go, not joining a bunch of stupid demagogues.

  37. avatar
    Darrell

    Honestly, schools are in dire need for reform. they are throwbacks to the 1800s factory conditioning for child labour, and not places of learning rather conformity to make better line workers. Skipping school is not a bad thing if the kid is learning other stuff

  38. avatar
    Dimitar

    I don’t know a thing about her bravery but going around with a long face, giving angry stares and trying overly hard to put dramatism in sentences lacking it certainly isn’t helping her image as the lovable girl forced to take the longsword and fight for her rights. What’s worse is someone is obviously using this girl to put political words in her mouth. Why the UN, why target Europe and the US since both of them have very strict regulations about the environment. Why not go and make that dramatic speech in China? I know why – because there no one will bat an eye.

    • avatar
      Richard

      Dimitar she mean to say “the issues I bring are no joke at all, they are not laughing matter and it must be tackled with every bit of seriousness left in humanity “

    • avatar
      Alexander

      Why is a 14 yo girl not demanding to a dictatorship to reduce their fossil emissions? Really why? And she is choosing the easy way out to speak in front of the UN? How dare she?
      Not everything is an image. She is trying to make a change, yet what she receives is beurocracy. And these looks are nothing but the realization what a world built on lies and ran by money is she living in. I guess we are already numb on this topic.

    • avatar
      Richard

      she mean to say “the issues I bring are no joke at all, they are not laughing matter and it must be tackled with every bit of seriousness left in humanity “

    • avatar
      Jack

      Dimitar also because the west is the first polluter producer per capita. It’s a fact.

  39. avatar
    Richard

    What she is doing is teaching her tonnes of things that classroom can never teach. The experience she gains from this will equip her far better than anything she will gain sitting in a classroom.

  40. avatar
    Mario

    we won’t be teaching/learning math, history, literature and other subjects without a future so yes, it’s absolutely fair to skip school for the climate

  41. avatar
    Rodrigo

    I think we’re asking the wrong question. Anyway, I would say no. What matters is what you do to avoid climate change on a daily basis. These hysterical so-called “activists” are doing nothing besides divide and conquer.

  42. avatar
    João

    What do you want, dirty minds? For sure it ‘t correct!!!

  43. avatar
    Alex

    Half of the kids don’t even know what they are protesting for…just skipping school… very pathetic

  44. avatar
    Cãlin

    Yes, of course. You won’t understand why and how certain things affect the environment, but, as long as you have a strong voice, somebody will tell you what to shout.

  45. avatar
    Olivier

    Absolutely not.. Knowledge is a must before any political action

  46. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    Every one’s parental & personal choice!

    Since you ask- why the need to comment on a young, sad, over the top & theatrical celeb & parental background?

    For those who don’t know yet- earth’s ever changing climate and the 6th (Holocene) extinction is truly upon us. Why such questionable & “sudden” dramatic Swedish/global youth performance?

    Unfortunately, the ever growing numbers of Homo sapiens & evolution on this planet is like oil on fire & drive such unavoidable process- with a Greta, without one or their political lobby!

    Another “Cirque du Freak- by sad people where the sun hardly shines?
    For psychiatrists & scientists to ponder!

    https://heavy.com/news/2019/09/greta-thunbergs-family-parents/

    https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/greta-thunberg-indoctrinating-children-fox-news-michael-knowles-donald-trump-889557/

  47. avatar
    Manuel

    absolutly
    many of actual deniers were on May 68, skiping classes to shout for their dreams…

  48. avatar
    Milina

    In a civil world, no. But who cares about scientists? We need entertainment

  49. avatar
    Xristoforos

    Politics its a “no school require” job. Seems her parents know that.

  50. avatar
    Ajius

    She is not missing school, she is on a gap-year.

  51. avatar
    Marco

    Anything is a good reason to skip school

  52. avatar
    Λάζαρος

    Let me rephrase the question: Does the end justifies the means?

  53. avatar
    catherine benning

    Is it okay to skip school for the climate?

    If kids want to face the reality of depleting resources, they really must educate themselves seriously, and look at what they simply have been banned from knowing. And that is, accept the dreadful truth in a pragmatic way and stop pretending it can be done by simply turning off the so called heat tap. The changes to the eco system is not primarly affected by mans use of its gifts.

    The simple fact is, expanded population is the cause. And it is exacerbated by extended life expectency and the refusal to use birth control. Especially by those humans who live in the parts of the planet where their birthrate has exploded. Most usually in poor areas steeped in unscientific thought processes, backward looking cultural and social habits, and the areas of the planet seeking to collectively save the people with outlandish breeding that creates child deaths at a level many find hard to witness..

    Too hard to address and dear me, revealing it is on the brink of an incarceration prospect. So on we go, pretending it must be everything else but idiotic misinformation and pandering to it. Therebye clinging to the good angel game called save me, feed me, make me better.

    Stop promoting massive increases in population. The way they do it in the West where birth levels are falling dramatically. Don’t breed like rabbits. Stop the crazed idea of vaccination where the birth masses cannot be fed. Stop handing out free mosqito nets. Stop sending mountains of food and aid to those who propagate without the possibility of life expectancy. It is a ridiculous way to claim global warming is causing the planets end. When it is simply irresponsible mass population.

    Yes, life and the hell in it, is difficult to accept and adjust to. But, if you don’t want to look it in the eye and take the tough decisions to correct it, then simply come to terms with the known outcome of doing nothing and ignoring it.

    Oh, what a nasty person to dare suggest attacking global warming is not sitting preening yourself on a large stage being applauded whilst bleating about how mummy and daddy should do something dramatic like, get rid of your cars, turn off the air conditioning, eat no meat, stop using water in a sewage system, end public transport and go back to living the spartan life of those over breeders.

    Wearing those blinkers will do nothing to change the melting ice caps. Or, help you to have a longer tomorrow. Only hard, cruel facts will do that, little people. Bring the planet population down to a thrid, or, less of what it is today. And maybe, just maybe, the planet will be able to correct and sustain itself. At least for another few years.

    Eventually, it will bring about the catasrophe needed to save itself. Remember the dinosaurs? The Chicxulub crater (/ˈtʃiːkʃʊluːb/; Mayan: [tʃʼikʃuluɓ]) is an impact crater buried underneath the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. It is thought to be the meteor that rid us of those enormous creatures.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nnbd1b_tKQ

  54. avatar
    Dr. Devinder Uppal

    Yes, the objective is good, the climate change is creating big alarming bells to humans but I have to ask four million protesters, which mainly are from the developed world, how much their own life style is affecting the climate change,few posers–
    1. generally on the everage a meat eater is causing twice as much global warming,as compared to non-meat eater, how many of the strikers are willing to convert,or at least reduce partially their meat intake?
    2 About 1/3 of the food is wasted or spoiled, and the proportion of such losses are higher in developed, richer and Know-more nations, how many will be pledging to bring such losses to 0 level?
    3. Over eating is more provelent in such developded nations, how many will be willing to pledge no over eating,which will save food and their health too?
    4. Junk food, which is almost equal to food and health wastage, is more in the developed world,and how many are willing to switch over to fresh and non-processed foods?
    5 How manny of the stikers are willing to widen their live-in comfort — may be 3to 4 degree temperatur on either upper and lower side.and save energy for heating and cooling their rooms ?
    6. How many are willing to walk,cycle or use public transport to their work or study place ( as the situation and distances permit )?
    Such are few of the actions needed at me-too level, many more can be adopted, as per your own situation so that each of us can contribute to reverse the trend and help to sustain a better life on this planet
    Lastly– I have an offer of your interest please note—I have been the Director of Research of the Horticulture and Forestry University at Solan–Himachal Pradesh( hill state in the north west of India) and the Forest wealth of that state is crucial for climate–regulating mechanism of the adjoining plain areas of that part of the country. I extend an offer to Miss Greta Thanburg and few other co-crusaders to come to India, and I will host their visit and organise their intimate contact with the forest areas and also the life of people around. I will also arrange scientific discussions with university scientists who are working aggressively on many issues having a direct bearing on the climate changes
    I am sure, after this they will be better able to project their cause to the public,world leaders and UNO forums on climate change,with their fingers at 90 to 180 and then agian 360 for more positive suggestions and deliberations on all such issues to make human life more sustainable
    Meanwhil I wish good success to the movement

  55. avatar
    Filipe

    Funny how so many adults are pissed at a 16-year-old girl. How they blame politics, leftists, her mom, her dog, her mental issues and so on.

    To troll or berate a child, who’s only goal is to save the planet & educate us on the topic of climate change, seems a cunt thing to do.

    And whats the point of going to school if soon there wont even be a school to go to lol.

  56. avatar
    Neil Bird

    Without question…. Our politicians and leaders need a wake-up call. Hopefully the size of the strikes will get bigger and start including workers too.

  57. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    I am not done yet! Once more. No- never!

    It is indifference & an indictment of today’s moral & ethical bankruptcy by our (dishonest & opportunistic) political & economic leaders & voters apathy!

    Sorry, but I have a problem with “role reversals”!

    Why do (a group) those who should lead- deliberately and mindlessly use “children”- by elevating & strengthen their believe in being the last bastion of “protectors & saviors of mankind”?

    They fail, instead protecting and educating (including every one in need)- to spread knowledge, avoid mass hysteria and counter predictions bordering on Nostradamus, clairvoyants & other freak actors – all so estranged from today’s available scientific understandings, ignoring findings, genuine efforts & human limitations.

    https://oxfordre.com/naturalhazardscience/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199389407.001.0001/acrefore-9780199389407-e-12

    https://www.scidev.net/global/earth-science/feature/early-warning-of-disasters-facts-and-figures-1.html

    https://www.nap.edu/read/1792/chapter/6

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction

    PS: All these mindless unionized & global cowards- who should be in charge politically & economically to lead society, inform, protect & educate- are instead glorifying & hiding behind those who still need enlightenment & protection- are dismal failures, unworthy leaders & a human disgrace!

    What a shame & scam!

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