For years now, the philosopher Daniel Innerarity has stated that the fight against climate change and the defense of the environment involves setting the future at the negotiating table. Today it is the youth mobilized in Youth for Climate and #FridaysForFuture that vindicates their space in the global conversation. Why now and not before? Why has it taken so long for this green wave to emerge strongly? The answer, as always, will be multiple and we will have to wait a while to be able to compose the whole puzzle, but some elements are already shown clearly.
The young people who are mobilizing because of the climate are adolescents who have barely reached the university. Both in their primary education and in high school have been listening to background music as an environmental message turned into a cantinela of politically correct but with little transforming background. They have assumed -and forced their families- to recycle waste at home, walk down the corridor reproaching us to leave the light on, have been moved by images of turtles full of plastic that have led them to put their aluminum bottle in the backpack design, and have long since reviled the private car as a status symbol.
However, these young people check day by day how the evidences of climate change are becoming clearer, how air pollution poisons their lungs and how the scientific community warns of the need to change our development model if we want to stop , or at least slow down the disaster. They are the same young people whose lives, in Europe, have developed largely in the hardest years of the crisis and are already aware that the future is something uncertain, unstable, close to the dystopian video games with which they spend hours. "We are the ones who are going to suffer the consequences", they tell us.
It took a spark to set the bonfire, and that spark has been a peculiar and charismatic Swedish teenager able to reach the most influential forums. From there, a movement that shares features with other mobilizations of recent years has jumped, which has led to talk of a "15-M climate". With social networks as a natural means to spread the message, these young people, who far exceed the environmental organizations, articulate a transversal discourse to claim those who govern us "political action in the face of the climate crisis".
It is difficult to know if this movement will materialize beyond the mobilizations but we have already learned that in the liquid times in which we live when the demands come to the streets, sooner or later, they enter the Parliament. Youth have asked to sit at the negotiating table as spokespersons for the future they are.