these student protests around the globe happening lately: are they
really effective? Is something going to change (like new policies)
because of this?
There are two effects of these types of protests
1) It raises the topic being protested about up the media agenda. In the UK, the climate change protests even managed to push Brexit off the top spot in the news. That is an incredible achievement
2) The people taking part will be changed. They will absorb the ideas of each other. This is how mass movements begin. A protest is a form of meeting with a public declaration "we are here and this is what we think"
The economy and the political systems we have at the moment are so at odds with the emerging ecological sustainability movement that they just don't engage. It's like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Perhaps this is always the case when there is a paradigm shift. The old systems have to be abandoned they cannot be reformed. As Greta Thunberg said
"You don’t listen to the science because you are only interested in
solutions that will enable you to carry on like before. Like now. And
those answers don’t exist any more. Because you did not act in time."
When I tried to ask a question about what methods (apart from protest) there might be for affecting change that environmental activists might use it was closed. This is symptomatic of the way that environmental concerns are ignored
The current system, both left and right is based on growth economics - which sustainability campaigners reject. Both left and right want the ecological problems to resolve themselves without any intervention. Both left and right see the natural world as "other" - a neutral playground to be used without consequence.
Given this background, it's difficult to see how engaging directly with the current structures is going to help much more than protesting