Does Protesting Help Change Minds About Climate Change
Authors Sabian, Michael, Cheyenne, Amanda Nunez
Climate change is real and happening all around us. Extra greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere are the main reason that Earth is getting warmer. Greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide and methane, trap the Sun’s heat in Earth’s atmosphere. Taking action to fight the urgent threat of climate change offers an opportunity to build more resilient infrastructure, protect public health, and advance environmental justice.
Protesting is a great way of spreading awareness and getting a large group of people involved in a big change. Protests influence shifts in public opinion. While violent protests have no effect on public support for climate action, both peaceful marches and civil disobedience are effective at raising public support. Protests can work to the degree that they can scare authorities into changing their behavior. For example, the killing of George Floyd during an arrest by Minneapolis police in May 2020 ignited protests across the nation calling for police reform and an end to systemic racism. As a result, the mayor called for sweeping structural reform, the city council passed a resolution to disband the police force and replace it with a community-led model, and the police chief pulled out of negotiations with the police union.
Scientists historically have had differing opinions about becoming activists on topics related to their work, but that has started to change in recent years. As the impact of global warming keeps getting worse and worse, scientists are trying their hardest to get others involved in making a change, saying “but I’ll keep fighting as hard as I can for this Earth, no matter how bad it gets, because it can always get worse.”
The impact of global warming will only get worse until the fossil fuel industry is ended. Recently, scientists around the world have expressed similar fears during protests, demanding rapid action to address climate change from their governments.
At school, young people can be taught the impact of global warming and learn how to adapt to climate change. Education empowers all people but especially motivates the young to take action which will inspire the next generations. From Jakarta to New York City, children and teenagers are walking out of class and marching in the streets to demand action on climate change. And the world is taking notice.
15-year-old Greta Thunberg started skipping school in 2018 to strike for climate action outside the Swedish parliament in Stockholm. The movement quickly went global. An estimated 1.6 million kids in 125 countries hit the streets during a protest in mid-March.
In conclusion, taking action by protesting and spreading awareness will help inform others about the dangers of global warming. Inspiring the younger generation and trying to make a change no matter your age will help shift the public support for climate action.