THEY started with a solitary teenage girl sitting outside the parliament building in Sweden just over a year ago and have grown into a mass movement, with millions of people across every continent expected to attend Friday’s global youth climate strike.

But this time, the Friday school strikes – started by then 15-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg – are not just about young people.

Scottish teenagers are calling on adults across the country to join them on September 20 for a day of action to send a message to governments and policy makers that can’t be ignored.

The Sunday National spoke to doctors heeding the call to support the strike who want to highlight their concerns about how the environmental crisis will spark “a global health disaster”, as well as academics and teachers taking to the streets because they are worried about the impact on their students’ lives.

They will be joined by Scottish Power workers – volunteering as stewards – shop workers, architects and parents with children of all ages.

Though unions have not balloted their members on the action, and so union members will not be officially on strike, the TUC passed a motion last week in support of the young people’s call and is encouraging members to take action.

The TUC motion was proposed by the University and College Union (UCU), which has written to all higher education institutions asking them to take up their call for a 30-minute work stoppage in support.

In Scotland, six walkouts are planned – in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Scottish business owners, from PR firms to architects, will be closing for the day to allow staff to attend, or are holding organised “work-ins” themed to explore the environmental impact of businesses, or other climate related issues. Cosmetics chain Lush will be closing all of its UK stores for the day, including its eight Scottish branches.

Many workers said they had taken annual leave to take part, while parents with young children are organising “buggy blocks” walking at a slower pace to ensure they can safely take part.

Busy frontline staff unable to stop work said they were posting pictures in solidarity to share on social media and in their workplaces such as doctors’ surgeries.

Marches will take place in Glasgow and Edinburgh with rallies planned in towns and cities across Scotland including Aberdeen, Fort William, Inverness, Ullapool and more.

Across the world millions are expected to take part in the show of strength, calling for action on the climate emergency to be taken.

In the UK. young people say government must enact a “green deal”, which includes decarbonising the economy, communicating the severity of the threat to the public and reforming the curriculum to acknowledge the ecological crisis.

The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there is just over a decade for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

The impact is already being felt across the world with a dramatic increase in “freak” weather such as storms, hurricanes and droughts. Water scarcity already affects up to 360 million people and an estimated 18 million have been displaced due to climate change.

In Greenland, scientists claim they are “astounded” by accelerated melt-rate of the ice sheet, which brings the threat of rising sea levels.

Noy Basu, a 38-year-old GP and mother working in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, describes herself as “often more into quiet activism”. But after hearing about the strikes last week she has decided to take time off to attend the Glasgow march with her four-year-old, along with a group of other health professionals.

“As doctors it is our duty to be relentlessly honest, stay up to date and take prompt action if patients are at risk,” she said. “We also have to minimise harm when we see it and share our knowledge. Every living being will come to harm if we do not act now. It is also a form of collective whistleblowing to call out this emergency and apply pressure to correct the ongoing errors and miscalculations.”

Andrew Dallas, a GP partner working in Inverness, is helping co-ordinate action across multiple GP practices in the area. They will not be striking due to their workload, but are planning to have signs in waiting rooms explaining why doctors are supporting the day of action.

Photos have been taken of the doctors with a banner reading “Climate breakdown will cause a global health disaster”, which they will display and share, and some are donating Friday’s wages to charities such as Medact.

He says he has been making changes in his life for about five years, has joined the Doctors for Extinction Rebellion group, and admits the thought of the future his children will inherit keeps him awake at night.

“As a doctor, my role is largely to analyse data, apply that to specific patient scenarios in order to

risk, communicate that to the patient and formulate a sensible plan to preserve or improve health and wellbeing,” he said. “Of all the data and research doctors are exposed to, the data on climate breakdown and its catastrophic affect on health and wellbeing is the most compelling. It trumps all other considerations because if we do not get our response to that issue right, most the other fights we are engaged in to preserve and protect peoples’ health and wellbeing will be largely for naught.

“In a world of scarcity, mass migration and war, humanity has a terrible track record of a rise in fascism and that always has a catastrophic impact on the most vulnerable in society. As a doctor I feel the need to do what I can to avert such outcomes.”

Elizabeth Cripps, a climate justice researcher at the University of Edinburgh, a mother of two, and co-organiser of Edinburgh Mothers Rise Up said that she had been compelled to get more involved in taking action after attending previous youth strikes. “My children are still young but by the time they are teenagers it will be getting closer to 2030 [when scientists believe irreversible effects will take hold]. I feel I have to act now on my children’s behalf.”

She said though she understood the difficulty of taking action on Friday due to busy schedules but insisted it didn’t need to be complicated. “I think if everyone can just do what they can, that would be powerful,” she said. “People are comparing this to the suffragette movement – it’s led by people who don’t have the vote and still sending a strong message. The young people have gone about it in such a mature way. But as adults we do have political power so we can use that.

“It’s about getting all governments to recognise the need to take action and avoid this. In Scotland the government is moving in the right direction and has made a lot of progress but while it is still relying on fossil fuels and continuing to oil it is hard to really put out a message about sustainability.”

Peter Fisher, an Edinburgh-based director of architecture firm Bennetts Associates said all of the firms UK offices will be closed for the day. The practice has a special interest in sustainability and several members have joined Extinction Rebellion. In the morning architects in London, Manchester and Edinburgh will join local marches with colleagues and in the afternoon they will link up to discuss environmental projects. He said: “It’s incredible to think it was just over a year ago that that everyone said [of Greta Thunberg] that there was no point in sitting outside the Parliament on your own. There’s something so powerful about a young generation saying to those who came before: “you have failed”. But we are genuinely noticing a change. It’s now moving up the agenda very quickly.”

Erin Curtis of the Scottish Youth Climate Strikes said it was important that the climate strikes had been youth-led. “We are the ones who will feel the effects of climate change,” she said. “This is our future and its powerful that we stand up for it. But now it’s really important that older generations also stand in solidarity with us. Adults need to come on Friday to show that this is a critical issue and they are willing to help.”