A year ago, led by Swedish schoolgirl and climate activist Greta Thunberg, young people around the world began “school striking for climate” — walking out of school for a few hours each Friday in order to demand action against the climate change that darkens their future.
Tomorrow, Sept. 20, three days ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City, millions of young people and adults around the world will join a Global Climate Strike.
At 3 p.m. in front of Wait Chapel, students will have the opportunity to walk out of class and join the climate strike. It is the opinion of the Editorial Board that students should take advantage of the opportunity to participate in an activist movement.
It will not be the first time that Demon Deacons have left class to protest some of the most pressing issues of the day. Indeed, in Oct. 2018, students walked out of class to protest the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court and express support for survivors of sexual violence. In Nov. 2017, students also held a walkout in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
Clearly, students have stood up for important issues before, and climate change should be no different. Scientists estimate that humans have approximately a dozen years to stave off of the worst effects of climate change, but unfortunately, our elected officials have demonstrated nowhere near the sense of urgency that befits the situation.
Perhaps a reason is that our legislative bodies skew far older than the general population. The vast majority of our senators and representatives will not be around when the most serious impacts of climate change come to bear — but we will. Climate change will seriously impact our futures, and even though Wake Forest is only a drop in the bucket when it comes to solving the climate crisis, we could all do something to send a message to our elders that we care.
Though our voices may seem quiet individually, the collective noise of millions worldwide will be heard. Students have the power to generate change, and in the case of climate change, our urgency and persistence is more necessary than ever.