German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed the student movement behind the weekly climate change demonstrations across the country. Climate change is a “challenge that people can only tackle together,” German Chancellor said lauding the student activism. “So I very much welcome that young people, school students, demonstrate and tell us to do something fast about climate change,” she added.
Every week thousands of German students are skipping school to take part in the “Fridays for the Future” rallies across the country. The agitators are following the lead of the 16-year-old Swedish girl Greta Thunberg, who in August 2018 started the first “school strike for climate” outside the Swedish parliament. Their demands include ending the use of fossil fuels and a total switch to renewable energy.
Merkel’s support for the climate change movement could be part of an election strategy ahead of the European parliament election scheduled for May 2019. The influential pro-EU think tank the European Council on Foreign Relations had recently urged mainstream politicians to counter the surge of nationalist parties by positioning “themselves as the guardians of the green agenda.”
German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported Chancellor Merkel’s statement:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has voiced support for weekly protests by school students calling for faster government action to combat climate change.
In a video podcast released on Saturday, Merkel said she was very supportive of the fact that “students take to the street in the cause of climate protection and fight for it.”
“I believe it is a very good initiative,” she added.
At the same time, Merkel warned pupils against expecting rapid measures aimed at protecting the world against global warming.
“I know that the students want many things to go faster, such as the exit from coal,” Merkel said. “But as head of government, I must point out that we have to take a lot of things into consideration: We have to reconcile jobs and economic health with the goals of climate protection.”
The mainstream media that ridiculed and maligned Germany’s PEGIDA movement, the grassroots mobilization against Islamism and mass-immigration, is lavishing praise on the student demonstrators. While the German working class people, housewives, and pensioners taking to the streets for PEGIDA marches were smeared as racists and ‘Islamophobes,’ teenagers bunking off school are being lauded as selfless idealists and saviors.
“Skipping School to Save the Earth,” the headline in the New York Times said. “In face of climate change, young people across Europe are protesting for their future.” the Washington Post reported. “#FridaysforFuture movement has inspired kids in dozens of countries to demand action on climate change,” commented the leftist news site Vox.
While overwhelming media coverage is being given to the student-led ‘climate’ demonstrations, the origins of the movement still remain somewhat murky. Last month, Belgian environment minister Joke Schauvliege was forced to step down after claiming that student protests were being orchestrated by hidden interests groups.
The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is the only political group openly critical of the climate change activism in German schools. The party’s senior politician Helmut Seifen recently accused unnamed “political puppet masters” and “powerful lobbying groups” from the energy sector of exploiting the student demonstrations for their vested political and commercial gains.
Raw footage: German students mob Economic Minister Peter Altmaier
[Cover image via YouTube]
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