This Friday, September 20th, 2019, the world will be going on strike for climate justice, and I will also be joining at the Denver Climate Strike. Countries all over the world have organized strikes to demand our world leaders to take a stand against climate change. Just in Colorado, I found twenty registered strikes. In previous years I always felt angry during climate change demonstrations because there was very little media coverage. No one knew they were happening until one of them went out of control. However, this year, I am filled with hope. All of the major news channels, journals, and editorials are talking about the Global Climate Strike. We’re making progress.
How did the movement start?
In August 2018 a Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, took three weeks off school to protest outside of the Swedish parliament and call for stronger climate action. As news spread, students all over the world were inspired to start the #FridaysforFuture movement. Students left school every Friday to call the world to act. A year later, we now have the UN meeting on September 23rd in New York for the Climate Action Summit. This summit is a pivotal moment in history, which is why all of the students behind the Fridays for the Future movement chose to organize the Global Climate Strike three days before the UN meets.
Students and adults all around the world are demanding world leaders change policies for climate justice. Some of the demands being made are:
Keep fossil fuels in the ground
Reject false solutions that are displacing real, people-first solutions to the climate crisis.
Advance real solutions that are just, feasible, and essential.
Honor climate finance obligations to developing countries.
End corporate interference in and capture of the climate talks
Ensure developed countries honor their “Fair Shares” for largely fueling the crisis.
This list comes from The People’s Demands if you’d like to read the full list or sign the demand go check it out. It’s a great way to participate in the call to action if you are unable to attend a strike!
There are so many reasons to go on strike. In fact, a lot of the different marches and demonstrations have their own motives for striking. People are protesting pipelines, oil rigs, and deforestation in their homes. If you need a reminder that the planet is literally on fire, you only need to see the Amazon rainforest which is still burning. Yes, the wildfires raging through Earth’s lungs have been burning for over a month. We have already raised the planet’s temperature by 1ºC, which doesn’t sound like much until we realize that some of the leading scientists—including Dr. Ken Caldeira at Carnegie Institution for Science—predict that if we continue at current pace, we will surpass a 4ºC global temperature increase by the end of the decade. The Paris Climate Agreement had world leaders agree on keeping the rising temperatures from exceeding 2ºC, but not enough has been done in significant pollutant countries to ensure this.
I’m striking because I am tired of doing everything I can every single day only to face crippling eco-anxiety when faced with the realization that corporations simply don’t care because of the short-sightedness caused by money. I’m striking to raise awareness about real issues that are ignored by regular people because our president refuses to acknowledge the Climate Crisis. I’m striking, so my little sister has a future after she graduates from high school.
How you can help
Not everyone can take off work or school to go on strike, I completely get that! I didn’t have enough PTO to go, so I asked if I could come in early into work and skip lunches during the week. My boss agreed so now I can participate on Friday. (You can RSVP for a strike near you, here) However, if you absolutely have no way of going, there are other ways to support the movement.
- Share about the strike on social media–You never know which of your followers are also passionate about the climate crisis and will go because they saw your post. Share to raise awareness!
- Talk about it–Talk with your coworkers or peers at school about the strike and why people are doing it. Start a club or work organization to implement small changes that help (using reusable cups/cutlery, turning off all the computers when you leave for the day, carpooling, etc.) This is not just an issue this Friday, but every day of the year.
- Donate–Help the youth strikers financially, this specifically goes to the US Climate Strike.
Climate Crisis affects everyone. No matter your political affiliation, no matter your socioeconomic status, no matter your age, gender, race. So stand up for your future.
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