Student climate strikers, Feb. 2019 in London ( David Holt/Flickr)
Who would have thought that a young student in Sweden would capture the attention of millions around the world and so powerfully call global leaders to account for their climate inaction?
But that is exactly what Greta Thunberg has done with her weekly #FridaysforFuture strikes to demand that adults and world leaders take responsibility for the damage we have done to the planet and immediately take action to address the climate crisis.
Now millions of young people who have followed her lead, striking Friday after Friday in cities across the globe, are calling for all people everywhere to join them in a global strike for climate action on Sept. 20 and 27.
Health professionals have a vital role to play during these strikes by calling attention to the many ways climate change disproportionately impacts the health of children and young adults.
We invite health and medical professionals to participate in two actions to show your solidarity with the students and to declare a #ClimateHealthEmergency.
Second, medical professionals can sign a medical excuse note which asks teachers to excuse their students from regularly scheduled school activities for the climate strikes due to the climate-health emergency. The note demonstrates the solidarity of the medical community with the youth strikers while also sending a clear, powerful message to global leaders that we can no longer delay climate action.
Sign the medical excuse note to show your solidarity, and then share it with your colleagues in the health and medical community and on social media.