The climate activist Greta Thunberg is graduating from school and announcing her last school strike on Twitter – but she is far from thinking about quitting.
Stockholm – It's been five years since climate activist Greta Thunberg's first school strike. In August 2018, the then only 15-year-old Swede lined up in front of the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm with her sign "Skolstrejk för klimatet" (School Strike for the Climate); with the aim of drawing attention to climate change.
Gradually, more and more people, especially schoolchildren, from all over the world joined this protest. This gave rise to the huge climate strike movement "Fridays For Future" (to German: "Fridays for the Future"). Since then, Greta Thunberg has become an icon of a youth movement that challenges politics and society. In Germany, too, the "Fridays For Future" activists are becoming better known. In an interview with the Phoenix television station, the well-known climate protection activist Luisa Neubauer criticises the climate policy of the German government – she is not satisfied with Olaf Scholz in particular. In a guest article in the Frankfurter Rundschau, Luisa Neubauer addresses the Federal Chancellor.
Today, after strike week 251, Thunberg announced on her Twitter account that it will be her last school strike. After all, the now 20-year-old is graduating from school. But it does not mean the end of the protests: "The fight has only just begun," writes Thunberg.
Last Friday For Future: Greta Thunberg looks back on five years and draws a sobering balance
The global climate movement Fridays For Future has achieved a lot since then. They have managed to get much more attention to the climate crisis globally and further raise awareness of it. As a result, representatives of the climate strike movement were able to talk to the most important people in politics about climate protection or draw more attention to their issues in talk shows on television. They also use social media to ensure that climate problems are not forgotten. Nevertheless, from the point of view of the protesters, not enough is being done yet.
In her tweet, Thunberg looks back on the last few years and draws a sobering balance. She never imagined that her strike five years ago would lead to anything, let alone result in a global movement. "In 2019, millions of young people went on strike for the climate at school and took to the streets in over 180 countries. When the pandemic began, we had to find new ways of protesting. Over time, we took to the streets again. We're still here, and we don't plan to go anywhere. A lot has changed since our beginnings, and yet we still have a lot ahead of us."
Last "Friday For Future" for Greta Thunberg – "will continue to protest"
Despite graduating from school, Greta Thunberg is not thinking about quitting. On the contrary. "We are still moving in the wrong direction, where those in power are allowed to make sacrifices. In the name of greed, profit and economic growth, people and the planet are marginalized and affected. They continue to destabilize the biosphere and our life support systems. We are rapidly approaching potential non-linear environmental and climatic tipping points beyond our control. And in many parts of the world, we are even accelerating this process."
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She encourages the graduates, who are facing an uncertain future: "We, who can express ourselves, have a duty to do so. To change everything, we need everyone. I will continue to protest on Fridays, even if it is not actually a "school strike". We simply have no other option but to do everything we can. The fight has only just begun," she wrote in her latest tweet. From the beginning, Greta Thunberg has divided. While some revered her like a world star, others scolded. The reactions of Twitter users to her tweet go in two directions: some thank her for her tireless efforts. There is a hail of criticism from the others.
"When I started striking in 2018, I never expected it to lead to anything," says climate activist and founder of the Fridays for Future movement, Greta Thunberg, on her last day of school. © Jonas Ekströmer/TT News Agency/AP/dpa
End of Friday For Future: Greta Thunberg continues to get involved in the background
As the German Press Agency (dpa) reported, the Swedish climate activist wants to get involved in the background for climate protection in the future. "The people most affected by the climate emergency should be better heard," the magazine Brigitte Be Green quoted the Swede as saying. It was "time to pass on the microphone," Thunberg told the magazine.
In Germany and worldwide, heat, drought and extreme weather are becoming more frequent due to the climate crisis. Experts speak of climate change as the "greatest challenge facing humanity". Climate change is also changing entire landscapes. As a result, the Arctic could be ice-free in ten years. Habitats for many species are also being lost due to climate change. Thus, climatic changes become a danger for the bumblebee. A study shows possible scenarios of climate change. The forecasts for 2030 are worrying, but it is not too late and everyone can do something. (Vivian Werg)