The size and frequency of mass protests, strikes, and marches calling for climate action are both rising. We’ve been tracking the numbers, as one measure of momentum of the climate movement.
One week ago, an estimated 4 million people around the world participated in Climate Strikes, organized and led by young people. That was a huge increase over prior climate mass mobilizations, a trend we took a look at in a blog post.
Today early estimates are that 3 million people did the same, so we have updated our data and graphics accordingly.
Some thoughts on the chart, with the systems thinking lens we like to apply at Climate Interactive:
- When a systems thinker sees a graph swing steeply up they tend to think about reinforcing feedback, where small changes feed upon themselves to lead to larger chain. For instance as the climate movement becomes more visible it is better able to attract new participants, and thus grows even bigger.
- Notice not only the size of the protests, but also their frequency. This is significant in light of social science research that shows that the power of social movements is combination of their size and their frequency. Where massive climate protests used to be years apart, of late they have been months or even weeks apart.
- Finally the strikes are not uniformly spread across the planet. Some particular hot spots of today’s protests were New Zealand, where we estimate that 3.6% of the population participated in the events, Italy with 1.7% participating and Canada with 2%. Last week, protests in New York City, London, and cities throughout Germany were larger. Some of the citywide and national estimates for today’s events are also included in our dataset.