Climate change school strikes – leader comment

Greta Thunberg has inspired climate change protests by school pupils all over the world (AP Photos/Mstyslav Chernov)
Greta Thunberg has inspired climate change protests by school pupils all over the world (AP Photos/Mstyslav Chernov)
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A proposal to allow Edinburgh’s school children to protest against the lack of action on climate change – but only on one day of the year – seems like a reasonable compromise.

It should be remembered the children are demonstrating because the current adult generations have so far failed to take the action that the vast majority of scientists – and every single major scientific organisation in every democracy in the world – say is necessary to avoid dangerous global warming. So in this situation, the children are seeking to teach their elders an extremely valuable lesson and persuade them to be reasonable.

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However, Scotland’s children also need to be reasonable. They must recognise that such protests disrupt their lessons and hinder the vital process of acquiring knowledge – the sort of knowledge required by scientists to provide the warnings the pupils seek to amplify.

We need a new generation of scientists, politicians and voters who are smart enough to recognise the dangers of climate change and also seize the opportunities presented by the switch to a zero-carbon world.