While climate strikers attempted to shut down Washington, D.C. on Monday, the movement to stop climate change has already gifted us with immediate results.
Granted, policy makers didn't leap to action and a hoax even circulated Facebook that hypocritical "eco warriors" had trashed Hyde Park in London while protesting (a bogus claim that was quickly debunked). But on Monday, the United Nations held their Climate Action Summit for world leaders to create "concrete, realistic plans." A U.N. official said the meeting could be a "slingshot" to mobilize world leaders to reduce emissions and limit global warming. Even Donald Trump, who was not scheduled to attend, made an unexpected appearance.
But no, the most immediate gratification from climate strike is the bevy of protest signs that mix calls to action with meme culture, text speak, and cult classic teen movies. Led by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, the Global Climate Strike movement resulted in strikes in 150 countries, spanning across all 7 continents. The demands, as listed on the climate strike website, are simple: "We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart."
In New York City, over 250,000 protesters took over downtown Manhattan, thousands more marched in major cities like Denver and Chicago, and #ShutDownDC became a trending topic on Twitter as protesters continued the movement in the nation's capital. To best capture the zeitgeist of end-of-the-world activism, here are some of the best protest signs from the climate strike.