We are finally speaking up. Please hear us before it’s too late.

Millennials and Gen Zs are proving once more that we are more than the lazy, avocado-loving, screen-obsessed generations our parents portray us to be. What started with a Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg’s solo protest in Stockholm, has snowballed into a movement where schoolchildren and students have taken it to the streets to protest their governments’ lack of action on climate change.

Part of being young is rebelling against older generations – ours however, have done less of this than former generations have. Modern teens strive to be successful and responsible in ways our parents refused to until at least their late 20s. They were not required to, either – without glorifying the Cold War period, few can contest that for the average individual in Europe or the US, life was easier.

Cracks in the parent-children relationships across the globe emerged in 2016 when mainly the older generations voted Leave, making decisions for which they will not feel the repercussions. Following these protests, however, the cracks have widened.

The Norwegian PM, during her New Year’s address to the nation, urged our generation to have many children and to have them early. Similar pleas are heard in all of the Western hemisphere. But how can they urge us to have more babies knowing our babies might grow up in an uninhabitable world?

The water is rising, areas are becoming uninhabitable, extreme weather conditions are killing people, and species are going extinct. Ours is the generation who will probably not inherit a world better than what our parents inherited from their parents. Ours is a generation riddled with mental health issues and social media pressures, eaten up by student loans and surging housing prices, a generation who for the first time lives with the uncertainty whether our grandchildren will lead good lives, or live at all. Finally, we rebel.

Schoolchildren have taken it to the streets in Australia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Poland and Belgium, demanding that the adults who are currently in charge try not to cause even more irreversible damage than they have already caused. Protests in the US, Thailand and Uganda are being planned. We are finally speaking up, so please hear us before it’s too late.

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