The Climate Strike Is On. We Will Be There.

, former president | September 18, 2019, 3:44 pm EDT
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It’s time to strike. For climate action. For climate justice. And for the youth-led movement that is demanding change, inspiring hope, and mobilizing this Friday’s global climate strike.

This Friday, September 20, in more than 4,500 places in 137 countries around the world, climate strikes will take place. They are designed to disrupt business as usual on a school and work day, and to elevate the overwhelming urgency of the climate crisis.

The future is theirs

Today’s youth understand that they will live their lives in a world affected by climate change. They know that without dramatic and immediate action, their future will be a dangerously hot one, with accelerating sea level rise, stronger hurricanes, larger wildfires, and wrenching social and economic disruption, particularly for the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Indeed, the Northern Hemisphere just endured the hottest summer since we began keeping temperature records. And young people today are realizing that it’s just a harbinger of the increasingly severe impacts to come if we don’t act boldly now to deal with the climate crisis.

They know we are not headed in the right direction on climate. That we are not on track to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, and that the Trump administration has announced its intention to withdraw even from that. But today’s youth leaders are refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer as they fight relentlessly for change.

Their demands for the strike are clear and simple: we must act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid clean energy revolution with equity and climate justice at its heart.

The strike is for everyone

This isn’t the first climate strike. But this one is different. Previously, the youth movement has asked adults to stay back and let them demonstrate their leadership and approach. For this strike, however, youth activists are asking everyone to join them.

There are many ways to get involved. You can find a strike near you, support the young activists in your life as they join a strike or organize one of their own, or amplify the strike in your community and on social media; the organizers have created lots of resources for you to use. And even if you can’t strike, there are still other ways you can get involved. For more information, you can read the youth movement’s helpful guide for their adult allies.

We will be there

The Union of Concerned Scientists supports this strike because we believe in this movement and its power and potential to make a meaningful difference in the climate fight. We believe in the inspiring youth who rise and demand action at this most critical time. And we will support and fight with them to protect their future, their climate, and the planet they will inherit.

Just as we have been honored to support the Peoples’ March for Climate, Jobs, and Justice, UCS is supporting the youth climate strike as a science partner, encouraging our own staff and supporters to join, and providing key science resources, support, and science talking points that youth activists have requested, including a science backgrounder via Twitter we’ll be sharing between now and the strike.

Every great social movement has two key elements: an undeniable moral message, and powerful messengers. The fight for a habitable world has both in this effort. The moral message that adults have no right to leave a dangerously compromised world for their children and grandchildren. And the world’s youth as the powerful messengers who have everything to lose if adults do not listen.

And just as I listen to my own children—and support and join in their endeavors when it’s right—I am proud to listen and to join in this climate fight.

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