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Why American Kids Are Joining the Global Climate Strike

“If the adults are going to screw up our entire future, we have to do something about it,” said one young activist joining the global Youth Climate Strike.
A youth strike for climate change in London last month.
A youth strike for climate change in London last month.Simon Dawson/Reuters

Today, young people are expected to skip school and gather in more than 1,200 cities in 90-plus countries around the world to demand action on climate change. The global Youth Climate Strike movement began with Greta Thunberg, 16, who last summer started protesting alone outside Sweden’s parliament instead of attending school on Fridays. “Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis,” said Thunberg (who was just nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize) during a speech at the 2018 UN climate conference in Poland.

In the U.S., events are planned in more than 100 cities (see the interactive map below, created by Youth Climate Strike). CityLab spoke with people planning to take part about why they’re striking and the issues they’re most concerned about.