via Olivia Hurley
As Greta Thunberg, who started Fridays for Future where students skip school to protest across the globe, said, “Our House is on Fire.” This past week believers and nonbelievers alike acted as though their own house was burning down in reaction to the fire of Notre Dame. Within a week, $1 billion was donated to the reconstruction of Notre Dame. If people reacted similarly to their planet the way they did to Notre Dame with such urgency our world may have a future with people on it.
On Friday, March 15th, 2019, 1 million students on all continents, in 112 countries walked out of school for climate justice. This included 14 of our very own Poly students. We walked out because our government needs to see climate change as a threat and with great urgency, not just a problem, and acknowledge the Green New Deal. The IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Report has predicted that in order to keep our world, the temperature must not surpass 1.5ºC. Currently, we are at about .77ºC. In less than 20 years, we will reach 2ºC. At this point, climate change is expected to kill an additional 250,000 people annually. Every year our natural disaster rates go up by 7.4%. Our extinction rate, currently, is 10,000x the normal which means that, according to the UN, about 200 species go extinct daily. We must march to show that we are still here and that we will not leave until there is immediate action. Our voices are our strongest weapons and they must not be wasted.
There will be no need for school if half our planet has gone into drought, is flooded, on fire, or gone. I understand that we must educate ourselves to combat climate change and strive for justice, but we only have 11 years. By the time I am 28, there will be no time left. We will have failed our children and ourselves. There is one common goal that, we, as a society should be striving for– climate justice. Without that, nothing matters anymore. There is no point to go to school, have a family, get a job, or make a life, if there is no planet.
I know that that is grim, but that is why we must march. There should be no excuses because our planet is dying. This is our future, not the people in the white house, and we must take control of it.
The next international walkout will be on May 24th. I hope and encourage Poly students to act on what is right.