On Friday, March 15, 2019, Mizzou held a Youth Climate Strike in Speaker's Circle. People of all ages, ethnicity, genders, and political backgrounds came together to express their thoughts on climate change. I talked with some to hear their views.
1. What made you come out to the Youth Climate Strike today and how did you hear about it?
"I want to work for action on climate change, it's a very important issue that will affect our generation. Action needs to happen now." - Anthony Carrizales
"Greta Thunberg is an incredible activist, who's fighting for the changes we need because our environment is changing. She inspired me to come out today. We can't just keep doing things the same way. Digging into the ground and emitting fossil fuels whenever we're extracting fossil fuels. It's just not sustainable." - Lydia Schreiber
"Climate change is a big issue and the strike had lots of information about how to get involved in combating the situation." - Anna Inslee
Many of these young activists who came are part of on-campus organizations, were inspired by their peers or other activists, or simply just wanted to come out to support the change.
2. Many studies show that, on average, younger generations care more about climate change that older generations. Why do you think that is?
"Younger generations are going to live to see the effects. Our future is a lot scarier when you're someone that has one to lose. Younger generations are fearing for their lives because climate change is going to have immediate consequences." - Sadie Jess
"Climate change will most immediately affect younger generations, and while there are still some members of older generations that care, older generations don't understand the extent that climate change is going to affect the younger generation. Frankly, there are only grim possibilities of how climate change could affect us in the long haul." - Anthony Carrizales
"Younger generations are the ones who will be here when even more natural disasters occur when large groups of people will have to seek shelter because climate change took away their homes. We will have to deal with it to either solve it, acclimate to it, or die from it." - Anna Inslee
Older generations have created our climates problems, and many don't seem to want to help with the movement for a better Earth. Younger generations seemed to get "shamed" when they want to make a difference, but it's us that are going to live to see a better world.
3. What is one way, big or small, that people can do to help the climate?
"Just show their support. Go out and join clubs. We only have 5 or 6 people in MEAC (Mizzou Energy Action Coalition), and I know out of the 30,000 students at Mizzou, there are more than 5 students that care about climate change. The main thing that people can show up to the fight." - Barb Kuensting
"The most important thing is to vote and try to push anything sustainable and environmentally minded into your work, because individuals CAN make a difference.." - Lydia Schreiber
"Elect officials that help limit the use of fossil fuels and help in lowering pollution among corporations. We can do this by voting, calling out representatives, and taking actions such as this Youth Climate Strike." - Anna Inslee
The biggest way to help climate change is to get involved in the movement, whether by voting, calling your representatives, or taking action in events such as the Youth Climate Strike, and to add sustainability into your life.