Youth and global warming
September 24, 2019
To the Editor:
One of the most remarkable and uplifting developments in the climate movement is the recent upsurge of activism by youth around the world. They know that the growing climate crisis endangers their future. As Jamie Margolin, a high school student, said, “It is not fair to my entire generation that we are inheriting this monstrosity of a problem. I can’t risk not fighting. My future is on the line.”
In the U.S., youth in the Sunrise Movement have led the drive to support the Green New Deal and get candidates for President to take the climate emergency seriously. As a result, nearly all the candidates have come out with a climate plan, something never seen before in our elections.
The Extinction Rebellion started in the United Kingdom and has spread around the world. They are using civil disobedience to express the urgency of the situation and the need to take decisive action now. As a result of their activism, the governments of Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and the U.K. have declared a climate emergency, and other countries and cities have followed suit.
On Sept. 23, this group and many others blocked traffic in Washington DC. As one of the leaders said, “The urgency of climate change warrants such an attempt to disrupt business as usual ... to make it impossible for people with decision-making power to go about their daily lives as if we are not in the climate emergency.”
Young students, led by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, conducted another global “school strike for climate” on Friday, Sept. 20. Over two million students and adults were expected to participate around the world. To support their actions, in Minocqua, a climate rally was held that day in Torpy Park.
A recent poll showed that the majority of teens are afraid and angry about global warming, but fortunately a majority is also motivated to act. The commitment and leadership of these groups, in particular the teenagers, is impressive. Just maybe more adults will listen and join them.