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Children’s climate action gives some hope for the future

Readers praise the thousands of schoolchildren and young people who walked out of classes to join a UK-wide climate strike
Protesters hold placards as they attend a climate change protest organised by Youth Strike 4 Climate opposite the Houses of Parliament in London last Friday
Protesters hold placards as they attend a climate change protest organised by Youth Strike 4 Climate opposite the Houses of Parliament in London last Friday. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Thank you for the coverage of last Friday’s school strikes (Children take to streets in UK-wide climate strike, 16 February). All I saw and heard of it was inspiring and humbling, and fully justified Jonathan Freedland’s questioning who are the adults now (We failed the young on climate change – now we must listen, 16 February).

These young people were articulate, passionate and clear about why they were there and what they wanted to achieve. Their straight answers to those telling them that they should be at their lessons, or demonstrating only at the weekend, made the criticisms seem lame and out of touch. It was not just what they said but how they said it. They responded neither defensively nor offensively, but clearly stated what they knew and what they believed in. How sadly different this is from the level of communication we see between our elected MPs in parliament.

CLIMATE CHANGE FACT: Earth could warm by six degrees this century. The Earth's temperature will continue to rise so long as we continue to produce greenhouse gases. The estimates for how much temperatures will increase by 2100 range from two degrees Celsius to as much as six degrees Celsius.

The thoughtfulness, courage and maturity of these protesters, linked across national boundaries, has added new dimensions to the momentum for greater and faster action on the causes and effects of climate change – and much-needed hope for the future, however challenging that may be.
Kit Welchman
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

• Having marched for the Youth Strike 4 Climate, alongside my friends and hundreds of others, I am now enraged at the foolishness of our government.

Thousands of children and young people turned out nationally to protest against government inaction on climate change. The response of young people worldwide is awe-inspiring and makes me proud of our generation. Yet, the government’s response has been to condemn us, to tell us we are wasting crucial lesson time. How can they expect us to stay in school, learning about things that are supposed to prepare us for our future, when they do nothing to ensure our future safety?

The dismissal of our action is shortsighted and foolish. I do not think I will look back in future and regret missing one chemistry lesson in order to fight for our planet. Theresa May and her government are too cowardly to admit that we children are right.

In 12 years’ time, I will be 29. I would like to be able to look forward to the future, without the fear and uncertainty that climate change brings.

At 17, I should be worried about whether I will get into university, and what kind of job I want to do. Instead, I am worried and scared about the very future of mankind and of our home. Is this what you were worried about at 17, Theresa May?
Isabel Aitken
Cambridge

The total temperature increase from 1850 – 1899 to 2001 – 2005 is 0.76°C.

• Bit ironic, that. Theresa May, whose sole act of rebellion in an otherwise blameless life was running through a wheat field, criticising the demonstrations of schoolchildren horrified and angry that in 50 years there may be no wheat field to run through. Or indeed any people to do the running.
Alex Dunn
Strathpeffer, Highlands

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