Today, New York City students joined their international counterparts to protest climate change and the failure of older generations to address the destruction of the planet.
More than one million students in over 2000 places in 125 countries on all continents participated in the walkout. New York City students assembled in Columbus Circle after walking out from class to draw attention to the climate crisis. Chanting “Stop Denying Our Earth is Dying”, the students made it clear that they are in it for the long haul and that they will no longer sit on the sidelines when their generation is going to have to deal with the catastrophic consequences of climate change. Many of the students demanded that Congress agree to the New Green Deal, introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and that politicians like Senators Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein stop catering to the fossil fuel and oil industries.
In 2018, under the hashtag “Fridays For Future” Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg began protesting the inactions of politicians in front of the Swedish Parliament. Her movement gained attention from students around the world and has been growing in size.
Ninety-seven percent of climate scientist agree that the climate crisis is caused by human activity and according to an IPCC report, the effects of atmospheric warming are likely to happen much sooner than previously predicted. If drastic measures aren’t taken to curb greenhouse gas emission, the forecast indeed is dire: coral reefs will have declined by 70 to 90 percent from their current levels. Floods, heat waves, polar vortexes, hurricanes, and wildfires will increase and become stronger. Consequently, this will impact energy, food, and water supplies, as well as human health.
The ones who are going to pay the bill for the unwillingness of politicians and polluters to switch course are the students who made it very clear today that they are a force to be reckoned with.