Greta Thunberg is out there pounding the pavement, taking on the UN and hostile governments on our behalf. Lucy Gray, a 12-year-old from Christchurch, New Zealand, is discussing the issue with our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and mother of Neve. Clem, another 12-year-old from Far North Queensland, Australia questions the outcome of the recent Australian election for climate change issues, “I feel angry and disappointed, because our government doesn’t take the climate emergency seriously. We don’t have a vote, but school students like me have been going on strike and working so incredibly hard to get them to listen…Many think that money is more important than the environment.” Yeah, they do. As I looked through the articles about the school walkouts and protests, what struck me, was how girls were not only leading the charge, but they seem to be the only ones getting any attention. Where are the boys?
Maybe it is just that I look through the news with a girl-focused lens, but no, I searched for boys leading any environment movements, and couldn’t find any. They are there in the marches, but not with the megaphones, not getting the global press attention. It isn’t that they don’t care. And it isn’t that they are less worried about their future, but where are they? Could it just be media bias? Click baiting with pictures of girls with placards? Or is something else at play? North Carolina State University did a study on climate education and children. What came through was that girls were more concerned about the climate after their lessons than boys and that adults were more willing to listen and potentially change their views when informed by their children, especially fathers by their daughters.
While this study just came out earlier this month, maybe it is something we just thought inherently—girls have power beyond their knowledge. Regardless, the fight for the survival of our planet is not one person or one groups’ task, it belongs to all of us. Make changes yourself, for your family, school, and community. We are past the point of baby steps, we must walk and run together.
-Ashley E. Remer
Girl News International