The earth is dying.
At this point, it’s a commonly accepted fact. However, young people across one-hundred and sixty-three countries and seven continents walked out of their schools and workplaces on Friday, September 20th to show they’re not going to lie down and take it.
Helix students came together in the Science Quad to watch a demonstration from Helix Environmental Club and Climate Activist from San Diego 350. The board of Environmental Club gave powerful speeches before leading students around the school for a walkout, carrying signs and chanting “our planet, our future.”
The speeches given by the club representatives were both informative and powerful, imploring students to consider the impacts of climate change on the environment, plants and animals, and people. Natalie Phan encouraged the students at Helix to “think about the 700 million people who live in regions with extreme water scarcity”, informing the crowd that “a small increase in temperatures will disrupt the water cycle and make that scarcity even worse.”
Aneesa Ricks admitted that her climate activism isn’t to save the animals or their habitats– it’s about the people. “It’s about saving the people who don’t deserve any of this. The people in… impoverished countries, they’re suffering from this when it’s big corporations that are doing this to them … It’s our future. They’re going to be impacted if we don’t do something now.”
The volunteer from San Diego 350, Wendy, also gave a speech, and I talked with her after as well. When asked why it’s important that youth get involved in climate activism, she said, “I think it’s important for all of us to be involved… just like any movement, people need to become familiar with it in order for it to resonate.” I think it’s safe to say that after seeing the youth around the world flood the streets in protest, people are much more familiar– and possibly inclined to follow suit.
After the demonstration, the crowd walked around campus, waving signs and chanting in a walkout. The signs were cute- sunflowers with “make love, not CO2” in the middle- as well as humorous- one imploring, “stop global warming or Ice Cube will melt!”
If you want to get more involved in this cause, Helix Environmental Club meets on Wednesdays at lunch in the greenhouse garden, and you can find SanDiego350’s website here. If you’re more of a personal change kind of person, Ricks suggests you “just do little things… recycle more, use reusable water bottles, little things can go a long way.”