Prya Oliveira, Staff Writer
Millions of people around the world sent a huge message to political leaders: Climate change is real. Over four million people participated in the climate change strike, making history. The strike itself was inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old who became the figurehead for youth, bringing attention to the issue. Thunberg met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers. Over 163 countries participated in this global strike, along with some students from Saint Martin’s University.
“You had a future, and so should we,” young protesters yelled through the streets as they joined the movement to prove that even the younger community is concerned about climate change. The New York strike had three demands, one of them being to end the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels.
One participant of a strike in India said, “Our politics is set up to make you believe that the way you participate in our democracy is by voting every two or four years. It’s not.”
Thunberg encouraged both parents and children to participate in the strike to showcase unity.
The strike was on Sept. 18 because the U.N. was set to have a Climate Summit on that following Monday. With China, the United States, and India being countries with the largest greenhouse gas emissions, it only made sense for communities in the United States to take part in the strike. Some students and faculty from Saint Martin’s University joined more than 2,000 people at the Washington State Legislative Building to participate in the “Global Climate Strike.”
“Nothing else can be done if we don’t work together with our governments to create drastic policies to reduce the climate change impact. Participating in this strike was very important to me because I believe that our generation can influence to make changes,” Alex Gonzales, senior, states.
“The strike went very well. I was amazed to see all the youth that came together to fight against climate change politics and it was even better to see all the Saint Martin’s students, faculty, and staff joined in with us at the climate strike” Gonzales continues.
Ashley Taylor, Saint Martin’s junior shared that if she had one thing to say about climate change, it would be that, “although you may be one person, you have the power to make a change and spark a greater change in your community. Your influence on others is stronger than you may think.”
But what could the strike possibly mean to the youth in our community? How could a difference be made? Sophomore, Franchesca Ponce, shared her thoughts.
“Although you may be one person, you have the power to make a change and spark a greater change in your community. Your influence on others is stronger than you may think,” Ponce states.
Monique Ilae-Hasegawa, junior, answers the final question of, “What do you think the strike did?”
“I think the strike allowed important people in politics to take a look at what the people want! Politicians that are for and against climate change couldn’t help but watch as we support something that we all care about. The strike was for me was informative about what we can do to be more sustainable and it was an amazing time to sit in solidarity with people who care about the earth,” she says.