Column we’re saving the world: why not #weallforfuture?

"Fridays for Future" is known as a student movement. Yet we should all be on strike, from teachers to baggage checkers.

The climate doesn’t just concern students Photo: Amanda Perobelli/reuters

My wife sighed as she picked up the site: "Oh dear, bad climate news again." It was her husband’s fault. He had written about how the Arctic is melting away. And only afterwards saw that the UN had made a mistake in its report: It had assumed the worst case of emissions (which is currently quite realistic), but then predicted a warming of the Arctic of 5 to 9 degrees, even if the Paris Agreement were adhered to (which is not so).

Correct would be: the Arctic is melting fast. But if we comply with Paris, temperatures at the North Pole will "only" climb by 5 degrees at most. That’s the way it is with "good news" in the greenhouse: lots of "IF" and a big BUT.

"Good news" from Wednesday: Germany’s CO2 emissions fell by 4.5 percent in 2018. BUT: At the same time, the transport commission fails, global emissions climb to a new record.

"Good news": Wednesday evening, CDU and SPD leaders Annegret Kamp-Karrenbauer and Andrea Nahles sit on a podium. AKK only needs a hand-stopped 18 minutes before she says, "We’ve put off the climate issue for too long." Nahles seconds, "2019 will be a climate year." BUT: They lead the parties that have outsourced climate protection to the powerless ecos for decades.

"Good news": everyone shows solidarity with "Fridays for Future", now also #EntrepreneursforFuture. Great. BUT: Still sending our kids on this crusade alone. Why aren’t the teachers also on strike? What about the bakers? The lifeguards, the tax inspectors or dentists? A political strike would be forbidden and as hotly contested as political inaction should be. If the assembly lines at VW and BMW came to a standstill on Friday, #CarmakersforFuture made it clear that Andi Scheuer was risking their future. At airports, #LuggageControlforFuture would save CO2 if flights were cancelled. And #SoldiersforFuture called for, well, a general strike for climate.

Climate policy needs pressure from more than just 14-year-olds. As long as we think that this is always a matter for others, the #whoeverforFuture, there will be no good news. So on Fridays, all wheels come to a standstill because climate protection wants it.

I’m fine, by the way. I write this column on Thursday.