דוקטורנטים מספרים - Hila Lernau
Climate Protests among Israeli Youth
Supervisors: Prof. Rakefet Sela-Sheffy and Dr. Iris Alkaher
Hi, my name is Hila Lernau. I am a Master’s student enrolled in the Porter School of Environment and Earth Sciences at Tel Aviv University.
There is broad agreement amongst climate scientists around the world that we are in the beginning of a climate crisis, and that this crisis is anthropogenic. They are also troubled that we, as a society, have only a very limited amount of time to try to mitigate the consequences of this crisis.
In August 2018, Greta Thunberg, a Swedish 15-year old teenager, began a school strike in front of the Swedish parliament. She became a model for many adults and youth around the world to demand that their governments do more… much more, against the climate crisis. On March 2019, a youth organization called Strike For Future was founded in Israel, and they hold demonstrations every Friday in several locations throughout the country.
As part of my research, I join these demonstrations and I ask the teenagers to complete questionnaires. For those adolescents who agree to fill out the survey, I also interview them, focusing on questions about the youths’ feelings, thoughts and attitudes toward the climate crisis. I also ask them about their personal reactions to the protests, their previous exposure to the subject at school, and their thoughts concerning the future.
In my study I try to identify the development of activist identity among youths who participate in the protests.
This is a pioneering research in so many ways: First, the research topic evolves in real time… Second, to my knowledge, this is the first time that there is an inquiry in Israel about youth protest movements, or about demonstrations on the climate crisis. Last but not least, - regarding the Israeli education system – I hope that this research will help promote understanding among policy makers that there is an urgent need to develop a syllabus in this field to educate all students.
Note: This study is supported by the Eda and Shlomo Zalman Najman fund for research on Climate Change and Urban Sustainability.