Global Climate Strike, Seattle Edition Worth your time?
If you are a busy BHS student like many of us, I will spare you: yes, the strike is worth your time. In fact, I would say that anyone, not just from high school, that has the time or energy to stand up for our climate has the duty to. It is never going to be easy to think this way, so let me show you what I learned this past Friday.
If you are anything like me, the thought of participating in the Global Climate Strike probably crossed your mind more than once. In fact, some of my friends organized our peers to head to Seattle and I felt guilty for not wanting to go. It is not as if I disregard the environment; I would say that I make an individual effort to make healthy choices for our planet. However, I had already missed class last week, and it was fairly inconvenient spending the day in Seattle.
I would argue that this is one of the most important parts of the story, not just pertaining to me but to activism in general. There is never going to be a day where it feels right, or good, or comfortable to stand up against injustice, especially if the issue pertains to every single person on this planet. What finally persuaded me to go was not my desire to go green, but that everyone around me understood how important it was to be there.
As we walked to the ferry on Friday morning, only one thought remained: this is a numbers game. It really does not matter why you are there, it is purely to show lawmakers that there are people willing to show up and support the cause.
Once we got there I found out this was true; many kids were smoking, taking pictures, and planning their afternoon shopping trips. Despite all of this, Cal Anderson Park was packed. Thousands of people were huddled around a young woman with a megaphone who was screaming blame at the corporate leaders responsible for the situation. Though they could not hear her, we all sure did. Many vendors were set up with environmentally-friendly paraphernalia, even some free snacks!
Pretty soon the march began, and all of us together moved on from Capitol Hill to City Hall. Many times over we all chanted, “Hey-hey! Ho-ho! Climate change has got to go” (cringy nonetheless empowering). I regret having to take the earlier ferry and not being able to stay for the rally, but every report I have seen says that it was a success.
No great social movement is without it flaws, and this one is no exception. The mandate to find a solution to climate change is completely in the hands of our generation. Sadly, most of us are still in high school, and that means criticism comes from everywhere, including within ourselves. I tried and failed to not find small things wrong with the march, but I will spare you the details in hopes that you join the movement.
All in all, it was a good day. Many who believe in climate change came together, and hopefully, there are a lot more of us. There is more than just one way to make a difference for our planet; individual lifestyle changes are what will buy us time until our legislators decide to stop denying what is happening. However, I agree with Leonardo DiCaprio in his NatGeo documentary, Before The Flood. The time for small changes is far behind us.