Climate Strike

Geoff Diver

We are facing an extinction level crisis and hardly anyone is doing anything about it…or so I thought. On September 20th people worldwide gathered to strike against climate change and demand action be taken by our world leaders. I attended one by Illinois State University, which had a large turnout. Students and concerned citizens showed up and marched across campus to spread awareness of our impending doom.

During the march protestors shouted things like “respect existence or expect resistance.” Resistance seems to be the theme of our generation ever since the 2016 election. Citizens have called themselves the resistance ever since the women’s marches that took place during Donald Trump’s inauguration. Resistance is the key to making real change in a society that would rather make a profit than saving the human race.

The most interesting part of the march was the number of baby boomers who attended. Millennials and Generation Z get the most credit for sparking these conversations about the climate, but the march was about 50% Generation Z, 25% Millennials, and 25% Baby Boomers.

Speaking of Generation Z, Greta Thunberg, a sixteen-year-old climate activist was responsible for sparking the global strike. Greta began striking on Fridays during school, because she claimed that there is no point in going to school if people won’t listen to the educated.

She wants people to act as if “your house is on fire…because it is.”

The sixteen-year-old received backlash from right-wing twitter users mocking her for being autistic. Others have also attacked her for her age and her political views but fail to recognize her outstanding resume and her Nobel Peace Prize nomination. In my opinion, Greta Thunberg is somebody that should be praised and looked up to as an icon.

There are several ways in which the average person can do their part to help the environment, like recycling or cutting meat out of your daily diet. However, the problem lies with greedy corporations that produce large numbers of pollution and carbon emissions into our air.

It is time to hold those individuals accountable. If you bank with JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, or Bank of America your money is being invested in our global annihilation.  I would advise you to take your money out now and switch to a local bank that doesn’t fund fossil fuel companies.

Another way to help is calling your representatives. These are the people in charge of making decisions on how we proceed in an era of the pending apocalypse. Your call as a constituent could go a long way in how they vote on certain environmental bills.

The most important bill is the Green New Deal which outlines a plan for how to switch to cleaner and renewable energy sources. Telling your representatives that you support the Green New Deal could compel them to vote for the bill.

If your representatives don’t support bills like the Green New Deal, then it is time to vote them out! You have the power to keep these people in office and not voting indirectly hurts our planet. We need people in office who will listen to the people, not just on issues with the environment, but with all bills they come across.

The power to enact change isn’t only in the hands of our national representatives, it also lies in the hands of our state and local government. Local government is an easier way to make sure your voice is heard because they are members of your community.

A good idea would be to attend city council meetings to ensure your voice is being valued. There are also county board members and even state representatives who you can speak with on your environmental frustrations.

Climate change is the biggest threat facing our civilization, and in my opinion, nothing else will matter unless we can save the human race first.