Dakota AndersonSpirit’s Panther Report: Waves of climate change awareness wash over the Plaza

Climate change protestors flood the Arcata Plaza. KLH | Union

Strikes concerning climate change have swept through the U.S. before, but the Climate Strike is different because it is a global event, dominated almost entirely by students, and inspired mainly by one girl, Greta Thunberg. 

Greta is a 16 year old teneager from Sweden most noted for beginning a mass strike at her school and making several speeches such as “If Your House was Burning,” which garnered national attention. 

The purpose of the strike is to call attention from leaders of federal and national governments concerning the distress of the students at the alarming rate of planet deterioration. 

Most recently, at the United Nations on Sept. 23, Thunberg critiqued the compliance of political and governmental figures in her speech dubbed, “This is All Wrong.” 

She accused said world figures of failing to aid the generation in their time of need, and stated that change will come despite the government’s refusal to make significant change. 

It is the wave of awareness brought on by students and the adults supporting them that will galvanize the attention needed to change the policies concerning climate change, but there is still much work ahead for the growing climate action campaign.

On Friday, Sept. 20, around 300 students and adults ages 5 to 70 crowded together under a sweltering sun on the Arcata Plaza to participate in the Climate Strike. 

Students were inspired to march together and chant sayings such as “Money won’t matter when the earth is dead,” “Stop denying the Earth is dying,” along with other slogans. 

Many held signs reading “Youth Against Climate Change,” “Our Children Deserve Better,” and “Make the Earth Cool Again.” 

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The recurring theme of the event was dissent against the government’s management of the climate crisis.

I myself joined the event with the McKinleyville High School Go Green Club to support the movement. 

To get a sense of strikers’ values concerning climate change, I interviewed a few students from both McKinleyville and Arcata High School. 

One student from McKinleyville High School, Adrian Molofsky, commented, “Climate change is real, I should know... I support our planet because we have treated it very poorly... The policies in our congress which are hurting the environment are benefiting so few people and destroying millions of lives.” 

On the other hand, one anonymous Arcata student remarked, “[Climate action] is something I support... but it’s weird. I heard a bunch of people talking badly about woodcutting, and I was a forrester over the summer.” 

It seems climate action is a complex issue which will not be easily fixed, as represented by the above dichotomy in Humboldt climate values.

Dakota AndersonSpirit is a McKinleyville High School student.



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