Now, a global grassroots movement is expected to bring tens of thousands of school students onto the streets tomorrow in countries across the world.
"I'd much prefer to be out here, watching and listening to the really unbelievable and talented support for the cause you've come together for".
"It's outrageous. But we're not going to sit and watch our futures being trashed due to their addiction to the fossil fuel industry", says Thorpe.
Six months ago no one knew who Thunberg was when, as a 15-year-old, she camped outside Sweden's parliament next to a hand-written sign: "SCHOOL STRIKE FOR CLIMATE".
Scottish Greens education spokesman Ross Greer said: "These courageous young people deserve to have their voices heard".
"If action isn't taken then this movement is only going to grow and continue as more people get frustrated by the inaction".More news: George and the Thunder visit the Pacers
Marlborough organizer George Glover, center, talks to Kaikōura MP Stuart Smith outside his electoral office in Blenheim. The youth of this world has started to move and we will not rest again.
Josie Law, also 14, from Edinburgh's Broughton High School, believes the protests are an effective way to make society heed the upcoming generation's concerns.
In an example of protest cross-pollination, Thunberg says she was inspired by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who organized the March for Our Lives, which drew around 2 million people in March 2018.
Doha Khan, a student from Adelaide, says she's "very lucky" to have the support of both her parents and her school to go on strike.
Marlborough Boys' College students heading the march around town. "We want a future".More news: Belinda Bencic upsets Naomi Osaka in Indian Wells
Hynd said he had missed an English class for the strike, while Pinker-Meihana said he had missed a Chemistry class.
"This is a lesson in itself", she said when asked about criticism of students missing school to attend.
Gardener said he has been gathering support via word of mouth and the social media apps Snapchat and Instagram.
Some councils said children who take part in the protests with parents' permission will not face punishment.
"The flood we just had wasn't just a normal flood, it was a one-in-100-year event".More news: Lockdown in central Christchurch amid mosque shooting - NZ police
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