Angelique Frazier ’20, Leslie Quan ’22, Olivia Reilly ’23, & Steph Wengler ’23
On Friday, September 20, over 6 million people worldwide walked out of work and school to join others in the Global Climate Strike.
The Global Climate Strike was organized due to a lack of action by the government in response to the effects of climate change. Protesters have made demands for new policies that support more environmentally friendly practices. One of the many goals of the strike is to promote the use of renewable energy, as opposed to fossil fuels.
Unlike schools in New York City, many of the colleges and high schools in Philadelphia did not excuse students from class to participate in the strike. While some students chose not to leave class to attend the protest, others felt that this issue was far more important than their attendance.
Two of our very own hawks, Adriana ’23 and Sara ’23, made the trip to Center City on Friday to march through the streets of Philadelphia. Adriana stated, “I attended the climate strike because my suite mate was going and we both care about the environment. Being an environmental science major and a vegan, I am very concerned with the state of our planet.” In response to why she attended the climate strike, Sara replied,“I am frustrated at world leaders’ in action on climate change, especially the US government, and I wanted to support a movement that I believe so strongly in.”
Both students were encouraged by the amount and the diverse groups of people that arrived in Center City to protest. Even though they didn’t learn anything new about climate change, they were glad to see that younger kids were being introduced to the problem that they would have to solve in the future.
When asked about why they decided to miss class to go the climate strike, Sara replied, “Some of the leaders of the strike remind us that while our education is of course important, we will have no classes to attend if the climate crisis continues to escalate. For me, being a part of something bigger than myself was more important than being in class for one day.”
The Climate Strike spanned across many colleges in the United States as students protested for action against climate change. Victoria Wengler, a sophomore studying at the University of Pittsburgh, decided to “walk out” and join hundreds of other climate activists.
Wengler commented on industries producing large amounts of greenhouse gases.“The chemical, oil, and fossil fuel industry holds the deepest pockets in the country, meaning they can buy politicians that will allow them to exploit our environment,” Wengler replied. In addition to these industries, Wengler responded, “Animal agriculture is one of the largest in the country, but it is proven to be the number one contributor of climate change.” It was important for her to be a part of the climate strike because many students feel that it is pointless to continue their education when the future of the planet is in danger.
Another student from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) attended the climate strike on her campus that was organized by the group 350 UNCW. Brooke Z., a sophomore, explained that 350 UNCW is a club on campus whose “main focus is to stop working with or supporting companies that use energy that’s non renewable like fossil fuels.” Her classmates marched through campus and even went to the dean’s office to protest against the use of non-renewables on campus.
The Climate Strike is a call to bring the youth together to demand a sustainable world for their future and for their children. Many politicians have recognized climate change, but have taken very little action to prevent it. Students and young people alike have the right to live on a healthy earth that is well taken care of.
Article by Leslie Quan