An enthusiastic crowd of mostly high schoolers gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol Building today for a spirited and Sun-drenched protest about climate change. The protest was part of the US Youth Climate Strike. There were an estimated several hundred strikes and other protests in the United States today and upward of 1,600 around the world.
The US Youth Climate Strike movement is drawing attention to climate change and support for the Green New Deal, an ambitious proposed congressional resolution to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, among other goals.
“We are striking because our world leaders have yet to acknowledge, prioritize, or properly address our climate crisis,” the mission statement of the movement declares.
An Enthusiastic Protest at the U.S. Capitol Building
At the event in Washington, D.C., the crowd roared chants for protecting the environment, including “No more coal, no more oil, keep your carbon in the soil.”
To politicians, the youth also chanted pointed warnings that they will soon be of voting age. “We are the future, we’re standing strong; we’ll vote you out so watch your back, because it won’t take us long,” the crowd shouted.
Their handmade signs mixed urgency with humor. Signs included “The climate is changing, why aren’t we?,” “Denial is not a policy,” “Climate change: The real national emergency,” and “Climate change is worse than homework.”
A Message from Generation Z
The speakers in Washington, D.C., spoke about the need for action and the need for change.
“Today is a day [when] elected officials all over the planet will hear the youth. They will hear our feet marching across the world; they will hear our chants and our voices growing louder and louder as we demand climate action for a livable planet,” said Nadia Nazar, a 16-year-old Marylander who is a junior in high school.
“We, Generation Z, are the first generation that will be impacted by climate change. And we’re also the last generation that can actually do something about it,” said Nazar, cofounder of Zero Hour, a youth-led organization that focuses on climate change.
Generation Z generally refers to people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s.
“We demand that elected officials, businesses, and adults all around the world not only stand in solidarity with us, but [also] act on climate change.”
—Randy Showstack (@RandyShowstack), Staff Writer
Showstack, R. (2019), Youth gather to demand action on climate change, Eos, 100, https://doi.org/10.1029/2019EO118391. Published on 15 March 2019.
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