B.C. students join global school walkout for climate action

Hugh Fox
March 16, 2019

Hundreds of Humboldt high school students walked out of their classrooms this morning to join the Global Youth Climate Strike - a worldwide protest against climate change, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. "People who know that fossil fuels are a thing of the past and that the future is renewable energy".

About 150,000 students, parents and activists have taken to the streets to protest over the federal government's inaction on climate change. An entire busload of students came just from in Ridge and Valley Charter School in Blairstown.

- Hundreds of students took to the streets of downtown Los Angeles chanting "What do we want?" Protest signs dotted the crowd.

"Climate change is worse than Voldemort", read a handmade sign carried by one student in Wellington, New Zealand, referring to the evil wizard in the hugely popular Harry Potter books and films. "The future is safe in the hands of this generation, time for governments to match their enthusiasm and demand for action".

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The demonstrations stretched across the state.

In Seoul, more than 100 students held recycled cardboard signs with slogans like "Too Warm 4 School" and "Don't deny climate change". Asked what inspired her to strike today, Eliza Schwartz, an 8-year-old student at PS 11 in Chelsea, told Gothamist: "Well, mommy just has the news on after we get home and she's making dinner and sometimes I'm so bored I just listen".

These protests, kick-started by 16 year old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, are starting to gather momentum and today protests were held at Cornmarket, Belfast; the Guildhall, Derry; St Stephen's Green Dublin; Cork City Hall and many more locations.

Arcata City Councilmember Sofia Pereira also spoke during the protest, highlighting some of the steps the City has been taking to combat and prepare for climate change, including banning plastic bags, prioritizing trails and adopting a community bike sharing service.

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"We are only seeing the beginning", tweeted Thunberg, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism. Unless emissions of heat-trapping gases start dropping dramatically, scientists estimate that the protesters will be in their 40s and 50s, maybe even 30s, when the world will reach unsafe levels of warming that global agreements are trying to prevent. "And equally they are not following the advice of the [United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] IPCC report that says we only have 12 years left for climate justice to be realistic". Here's what it means for New Jersey.

"It's spread so far, I think it's absolutely incredible, and it just shows how much climate change does need to be addressed and how unsatisfied we are with what's now going on", she said. Aside from that, she pledged NZ$100 million (some USD$68 million) to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.

And they're being considerably more vocal than our own Environment Minister Melissa Price, who has been pretty much MIA on the issue since she was appointed to the role past year. "That really scares me". Though in much smaller numbers than Arcata's protest, the protest garnered enthusiastic support, with passing cars frequently honking in approval.

But at one point, during Summerlin's speech, a utility van passed the crowd with its window rolled down.

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The Columbus Circle demonstration was organized by Zero Hour, a student-led climate group that previously hosted last summer's Youth Climate March.

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