Across Scotland, on Friday, the young people marched, as movement of millions blossomed across the world. Grown ups joined them – parents and those already moved by fear over a climate crisis future. Is their message of urgency getting through? Certainly the kids, speaking here, think so. The growth of the movement is testimony. And many adults agree. Though not all. Here are some of their voices.

Esther Silverton, 15, Edinburgh

The biggest difference from when I did my first strike at the beginning of February to now is how people view the issue. When we started the strikes, if I look back at my first speech, it was all about how we need to wake up the world. No one was talking about climate change. Now what we’re saying is that the world knows and now we need to act.

To me the first step to changing everything is awareness. It’s a really huge thing and powerful. I do feel it’s working. Everybody knows that climate change is a thing now, and it’s an actual issue that will affect us. Before, it was like, “Yeah, I need to turn off the lights to save the polar bears.” Now people we leaflet to in the street will say, “Yes, I get why you are doing this, even if they don’t agree with it.” That’s probably the biggest indication that it’s working.

I think it’s kids that are doing this because we haven’t been swayed by normal society as much. As soon as you get a job and go into normal life you do what you do to get by, whereas we’re still in a place where we can try things like striking and do as much as we can. We can imagine something different and a world that isn’t shaped as much.

Finlay Pringle, 12, Ullapool

This is my fortieth climate strike. When I was younger I always had a fascination with the ocean and that was reaffirmed when I went snorkelling with my parents. I realised it was beautiful, and this beautiful place needed protecting.

I felt pretty angry that we as human beings were destroying that incredible place – whether it be through plastic pollution or climate change. So I decided, with my sister, that we were going to start climate striking on December 14. We believe we were the first in the UK. Back then there was no Extinction Rebellion in our area, no Scottish Youth Climate Strikes. So we got in contact with Fridays for Future, the organisation that Greta set up. It grew from there.

It angers me that we as human beings have let it get this bad. We were being told back when it was black and white TV that there was such a thing as climate change. What did we do? We just pretended it didn’t exist. It’s human nature to leave everything to the very last minute. If we do that with climate change there will be no stopping it.

I would like our governments to actually do something. Politicians can say climate emergency, but what does it actually mean? We need radical action. We need net zero by 2035. We’ve got till 2030 to turn this ship around. If we don’t reach that deadline then the world is basically doomed. And I hate to put it like that because I’m usually quite optimistic.

I find it shocking that people my age don’t think that climate change is real. It is the greatest threat that we as humanity have ever faced. I read books, IPCC reports, online articles. Because we know the stuff, we become the teachers and we teach everyone else. I feel like we as climate strikers have almost a role to educate. We shouldn’t be having to do this. It should be the government. But currently it is us – and we can educate people about the climate crisis and about some of the small things they can do.

Martine Miller, parent, Edinburgh

I’ve become more and more educated recently about climate change and what our future is going to look like. I’ve got a daughter who is three years old and I’m terrified about what world she’s going to inherit – and not even in that far off distance. Becoming a parent just really brought it home to me. The young people have really galvanised support for the issue and raised awareness. This is my first climate protest. I’ve not been on any sort of protest before. Everything we’ve done so far has just been at an individual level, making small changes at home.

Charlotte Muller-Stuart, 17, Peebles

It’s insane how much the strike has progressed. When we first started it was literally just 30 of us including a few friends from Peebles that I managed to drag up to Edinburgh. Now it's tens of thousands. I do think people are starting to listen. I think there’s not enough panic though. I’ve found that quite a lot of the time with the politicians, they will secretly tell us, “I shouldn’t be saying this but I think it’s really good that you’re striking.” They just think it’s good that we’re getting involved in activism and that we’re having a political say.

Quite a lot of the debate about the strikes is more about the action of us striking rather than what we’re actually trying to say and the reasons why we’re striking.There is also still so much that our government can do in Scotland that they aren’t doing right now. Things like more peatland restoration.

People take it far more seriously when kids go out on strike rather than adults protesting because when adults do it, it comes off as hippyish. It’s not taken as seriously as children sacrificing their education and making this statement that says, ‘Why should we go to school if we’re not going to have a future?’

I think it’s really important not just to educate the youth, but also to educate the adults. People know about climate change but they don’t know the scale of the problem. I think so many adults are in denial about it. I think they don’t want to acknowledge it. Also there are quite a lot of adults that don’t know about it as well. In March I asked five teachers if any of them had heard of the IPCC report and all of them said that they hadn’t.

Mike Shepherd, retired petroleum geologist and author of Oil Strike North Sea

Our city streets echo with youngsters campaigning for action on climate change; youngsters who care passionately about the future of our planet. The environmental groups that support them insist that Big Oil must be shut down to prevent further global warming. It all seems very worthy, and here’s my opinion: they are distracting us from the real problem.

Don’t get me wrong here – climate change is all too real and will cause difficulties in the decades to come. My grouse with the protests is that they drown out the discussion that should be taking place instead.

The world population of humans are increasingly city dwellers. In the UK almost 80 per cent of us inhabit the urban landscape. Our food is produced by farmers with their diesel-fuelled tractors; the food they harvest is then transported to our shops by diesel-fuelled lorries. Electric tractors and lorries do exist but are not common yet.

The climate protestors should note that oil as a fuel must not be phased out until alternative methods of fuelling tractors and lorries are in place and can be shown to cope with the challenge of feeding our huge urban population. Get this one wrong and billions will starve - it’s that serious.

Step back to 1950 when the world population was 2.5 billion. The global economy had been recovering from the recent war, and received a boost when huge oil fields were brought on stream in the Middle East and North Africa. Cheap energy fuelled a humongous increase in human activity; ‘the great acceleration’ academics call it.From 1950 to now, humans, particularly in the affluent west, have seen a substantial change to their standard of living.

During this time the world avoided major famines, not the least because of the ‘Green Revolution’ in the 1960s when wheat and rice yields increased substantially. In consequence, the world population has increased to over 7.5 billion today. That’s an extra five billion people since 1950. Cheap oil is responsible for underpinning this huge population increase. If oil runs out and nothing takes its place, the props fall away (and that doesn’t bear thinking about). Plan A is thus to replace oil with alternative energy sources as a priority. We have to.

Dylan Hamilton, 15, Linlithgow

One analogy I use to explain why young people are pushing this is the boiled frog. If you put a frog in a pot of water and slowly heat up the temperature the frog will boil and die. But if you put a frog into already boiling water, it will immediately jump out. So the boiled frog represents the grown up, but the young people are the frog that jumps out. The difference is we’re tied to the boiled frog and if we all don’t act then we all die.

I’ve been striking weekly since February 15. I met Greta in August in Switzerland. What struck me was that she is a really down to earth person. I was on crutches at the time and she was the only person in the entire room that helped me carry my food.

The things I’ve learned over the past eight months are actually less to do with climate change and more to do with society – the little political tricks, how to talk to politicians. I think we’re having an impact on how politicians think. Every time they make a policy, we’re in the back of their minds. Nicola Sturgeon declared a climate emergency and the Greens have said we’ve given them momentum to push harder because they can say we’ve got tens of thousands of young people pushing for this as well. Scotland likes to claim that they’re a world leader and if this is threatening their status as a world leader, they’ll try to keep up the the good profile. Not quite enough is being done but it’s better than it was.

Obviously what I want from these strikes is for us to stop the emissions of greenhouse gases. But more specifically what I think they could do is implement a Green New Deal. So we would become a renewable and completely sustainable society – because at the moment our system isn’t built to be sustainable and renewable. We use the term Just Transition a lot. We would have to have a Just Transition to get jobs in renewables so people wouldn’t be out of work. Everything would have to be renewable and not killing the earth.

Hilary Brown, marketing manager, Edinburgh

Although I am a politically aware person and have marched many times over the years, it is fair to say that my daughter’s concern about climate crisis and her much repeated plea, "We’ve just 11 years to stop climate change before it’s too late" led me to commit to joining the global strike. I should have been working, but made a very last minute decision to walk away from it and support the strike. She and her friends have attended some the Friday climate strikes and I am proud of their commitment to raising the urgency of the climate emergency as a political priority. I also find it demands a personal response from me. Younger people are understandably able to focus on the immediate threat posed by climate emergency and don’t hedge their bets in terms of what needs to be done about it. There are so many ‘ah buts’ and ‘what ifs’ that plague any debate for politicians and that stop people from committing to radical change. I have very valid distractions plus a degree of complacency and, if I’m honest, cynicism about the ability to make change happen. I find that the young climate strikers are bringing clarity to the issue and making me acknowledge the need for urgent and sustained action. I am blown away by Greta Thunberg – how well informed she is and the way she articulates the reality of the situation facing the world – not in her first language either! I don’t really like the generational blame game. Many people my age and older have marched and campaigned all their lives and won many rights. They have made the world a better place for all of us lucky enough to claim those rights. But I do understand the anger young people feel about the future they face. It’s not so much that they are more aware of the issue than their elders. We are all well aware. The difference is their sense of urgency about doing the things needed to tackle it. I find there is less and less excuse for me, as a person with dependents and a whole variety of responsibilities, not to make this as much of a priority as they do.