In March millions of students skipped school and participated in protests around the world. They demanded that the adults should take action against the catastrophic climate change our planet is facing. These stories were produced by the students of the pre-IB media course.
The demonstration event about climate change was on Friday 15th of March. At 10 a.m. people gathered in Senaatintori (the Senate Square). A lot of people stood on the stairs of the cathedral with their signs to show support. That’s when people started shouting slogans and catchphrases like “What do we want? Climate action!”, “When do we want it? Now!” and “Who are we with? We’re with Greta!”.
The march left from Senaatintori to the Parliament house at about 10.30 a.m. There were a lot of people participating and walking together. There were also people who didn’t walk but were filming the huge amount of people who were walking down the closed down streets of Helsinki. When the protesters reached the Parliament house they gathered on the stairs and in front of the building. People kept shouting the catchphrases we mentioned earlier and this time they sometimes shouted them in English and Swedish as well as in Finnish.
The aim of the protest wasn’t to let politicians talk but to make them listen. This was achieved well in our opinion. There was a mic on the top of the stairs that was open to anyone who wanted to speak. There were scientists and a lot of young people who felt like they had something to say and wanted to use their voices. There were a lot of people who went up to speak, some were telling facts, some were saying things that everyone can do in order to stop climate change and others were sharing their opinions and thanking everyone who participated.
You could see that the people there were really inspired by the ones who were brave enough to go up in front of all the people there and share what they wanted to say. The people giving speeches were from varying backgrounds, and some had slightly differing opinions with each other on how to prevent the effects of climate change. But even with some differences in the speaker’s worldviews, the reception of most speeches was positive. Some speakers even got emotional from all the amount of people that showed up and the importance of the cause.
The mood during the whole protest was great! The atmosphere was wonderful and people were really energized and passionate about the cause. We personally felt really nice walking from Senaatintori to the Parliament house while surrounded by other young people while shouting the mutual catchphrases. My favourite moment was standing on a bus stop filming the people walking by and showing our sign to everybody. People would wave at us and show thumbs up for our sign. Actually, a lot of people pointed at our sign and laughed to it or talked about it loudly to their friends, what obviously was very nice, since our sign was mostly a joke.
We were pleasantly surprised that some politicians even showed up to the Parliament house. For instance, politicians from the Finnish party Of Vihreät came there, the most notable person obviously being Pekka Haavisto who even took pictures with some protestors. This was a nice surprise to see that Vihreät actually came there and spend time with the protestors; the fact that the Finnish elections are coming up could be a strong motive.
Some speakers at the mic who stood out where a man from all the way from India who gave a speech in English but even lead the shouting of catchphrases in Finnish (what was very impressive), an older lady talking about how you could read about climate things from the Bible’s the Book of Revelation, a young girl who came to the demonstration all the way from Kuopio and another girl who has so touched about people coming together and protesting about climate change that she was basically crying during her speech what was pretty brave of her.
Another thing that really stood was that there were some news stations and papers taking pictures, filming and interviewing the youth meaning that they actually cared about this.
Text: Saimi Koskinen, Amanda af Forselles, Tino Nirkkonen and Sofianna Jaakonaho
A short film about climate change
The pre-IB students from the media course also produced a short film about the demonstration against the climate change. It’s almost like being there!
Video: Nikolay Vasilyev and Yunwei Cui
4 + 1 incredible facts about climate change
Because we love to ruin your day to help the planet.
1. The world is changing rapidly
Global warming is causing dozens of alerting changes in the world, including but not limited to: the melting of ice sheets, rising of sea levels, Arctic sea ice declining and the most extreme weather phenomena in the history of mankind. What this means: more hurricanes, floods/other natural disasters. They will also be more severe. So, in areas that are already prone to this, problems will only get worse.
2. We’re running out of time
Yep, we need to act quickly. The sooner we do something, the less we’ll have to suffer. If we don’t adapt quickly, we’ll lose the planet, and we can’t live on other planets (yet). Adapting new things takes time, especially on a global scale, so we should do that as quickly as possible.
3. CO2 is going to make Earth uninhabitable
If you thought we could survive here with climate change, you were wrong. Many studies report that if we continue to release as enormous CO2 emissions to our atmosphere as we do now, the planet will be nearly inhabitable by the beginning of the 22nd century.
Sooner than you expected? While this may not be a huge issue for older people, younger people may have to experience the planet dying. We don’t want that, do we?
4. The coast is sinking due to climate change
Well this sounds like even more fun, doesn’t it? Every year coastal areas larger than New York City get destroyed due to the increasing sea levels and natural phenomena.
Sea levels have been rising at an increasing rate, since the 20th century. If the rate continues to accelerate, in a few years many pacific islands will be completely swallowed by the sea. Coastal areas are also suffering. Due to this, immigration will increase, mankind will have less resources and the ecosystem will be thrown even more off-balance.
5. We could fix this
Finally something positive, so let’s do this! The amount of money it would take to adapt and prevent global warming is surprisingly low. The amount needed is around 140 billion US dollars, which amounts to only 0.1 % of global GDP. Fairly cheap, so we should fix the climate while we can. Because if we don’t, we won’t be able to live on our planet for that much longer.
Text: Tuukka Hirvonen
8 things everyone can do to fight the climate change
- Buy a Tesla or ride a bike or take a bus, at least
- Use cloth bags when you go shopping
- Eat less red meat
- Do not litter
- Use less plastics
- Use energy more wisely: change to energy efficient light bulbs etc.
- Plant more trees
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Text: Kritee Sangroula