In February, the first ‘Fridays for Future’ climate strike took place in my area. We had heard about it about two days prior, in a very rushed and vague way, and no one was very sure what was going on, so I didn’t take much notice of it. The next day, although more people were talking about it, there was still very little idea of what the protest was for other than a faint notion of climate change. However, one thing was clear: going to the protest meant missing a day of school. It was a cool “experience”.
A few people wanted to go to support the cause. Rather more people went to miss school. And even more people went because everyone else was going. So, on the Friday of the protest itself, only five people, including myself, turned up for lessons. Most of those people’s parents wouldn’t let them or they just didn’t like the idea of big crowds.
My reasons were a little different. As I said before, we’d only heard faint rumours of the march two days before. I had no idea what the aims of the march were, who it was targeting, who it was led by or any other details which are usually wanted before throwing out your support for any random cause. In short, I didn’t want to blindly follow the crowd of people intent on skipping school, whatever their excuse for it was.
Since then there have been more marches, but I’ve been protesting in my own way: by reading. What really deterred me from the march is the fact that I was completely ignorant as to what it was about, so I set myself the task of reading not only about the protests, which I now know were led by Greta Thunberg, but also what I can do as an individual to help.
So, if you care about the environment, whether you took part in the protest or not, these books are for you. In fact, they’re not just for people who care about the environment, they are for anyone who cares about the future of humanity. Which I hope, is everyone.
1. No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
If you want to know more about the school strikes and the person behind them, then this small collection of Greta Thunberg’s speeches is perfect for you. It gives an overview of what the problems with climate change are, what needs to be done and what Greta Thunberg wants to do to sort things out. Perfect for anyone who wants an introduction to the movement that is currently rocking the planet.
2. This is Not a Drill
Greta Thunberg’s school strikes are not the only protests to make the news recently. Extinction Rebellion recently staged its own demonstration in the streets of London. Since then they have published a “handbook”, a collection of essays from a multitude of their members. These essays are written by all types of people, from firemen to professors to politicians. If you’re looking for a more in-depth insight of the extent of the problem of climate change and exactly what needs to happen to change things, then you need to read this book. This Is Not a Drill is angry and rightly so, it rages at our government, our economy and the system itself which is trapping us in this mess and it will leave you impassioned and bursting with the desire to make a change.
3. How to Give Up Plastic
However, this last book, written by a leading member of Greenpeace, reminds you that raging against the machine isn’t all that fighting for our future is about. Although our industries, economy and governments do have some big changes to make, these changes will not happen if we as a people do not make these changes first. How to Give Up Plastic points out some of the simple everyday things that we can be doing to help the environment, as well as new ideas to decrease the amount of plastic you’re using. Full of useful tips and tricks, this handbook is perfect to use a stepping stone to becoming a less wasteful person and maybe even a climate activist!