My name is Theo Cullen-Mouze. I am a 20 year old school striker, climate activist and writer from an offshore island off the West coast of Ireland called Clare Island. At the moment I am studying and living in Freiburg, a city in the Black Forest in Germany. I am in my first year of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Freiburg there.
Although as a young person growing up in the 21st century I have always been aware of the climate crisis, the fact that I could have a voice had eluded. It was only after I watched Greta Thunberg’s excellent speech at the COP24, and I was given a copy of Mary Robinson’s book Climate Justice that I realized that as a teenager I could have an impact and a voice.
In January of 2019, I founded a youth activism group called “School Strikes 4 Climate Ireland” which aimed to replicate the tens of thousands-strong marches that were occurring in countries such as Australia, Belgium and Germany at the time. Together with Fridays for Future Ireland and a network of students and teachers called SCAN we organised the March 15th strike where over 10,000 young people took to the streets in Dublin and thousands more across Ireland. Since then, SS4C Ireland merged with Fridays for Future Ireland, which is the Irish branch of the global movement that began with Greta Thunberg’s solo strike in front of the Swedish parliament.
I have been an active member of FFF Ireland ever since then, and I helped to organise the September 20th and November 29th strikes in Dublin during which over 20,000 people took to the streets. I was one of 16 Irish delegates at an international FFF conference in Lausanne, Switzerland in August of
2019, which we traveled to and from using exclusively low carbon methods.
I was one of two young Irish climate activists to attend the UN COP25 conference in Madrid, where I gave a speech at a UNICEF panel moderated by Mary Robinson and attended numerous protests at the continued inaction, endless bureaucracy and ridiculous hypocrisy displayed and propagated by the UN.
Throughout the latter half of 2019, and until the onset of the pandemic, I went on strike from school every Friday from 9am until 3pm along with my sister at the seat of our local government. This weekly protest involved getting up over an hour earlier than would have normally been necessary on a school day, taking two buses, and staying over two hours longer than a normal Friday, sometimes in the freezing cold and rain.
In 2020, I contributed to a number of international and national FFF campaigns to maintain the visibility of the climate crisis in the face of the pandemic and ensuing neglect of climate, as well as writing a number of articles and blogs, including one for the Elders which featured an introduction by Mary Robinson. As I am currently in my final year of secondary school, I am taking a temporary step back from activism but I intend to take a year out before going into university to focus on activism next year.
I am the host of the Uncharted Waters podcast which consists of discussions and conversations with leading climate scientists, academics and intellectuals.
Apart from climate activism, I am passionate about philosophy, music and classical piano and food.
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