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Daily News Blog

12
Sep

Youth Ask Public to Join the Global Climate Strike September 20-27

(Beyond Pesticides, September 12, 2019) This September, adults will join in a global climate strike spurred by the Fridays for Future school climate strike movement.

Environmentalists around the world are galvanizing the public to participate in youth-led disruption in order to bring attention to the climate crisis. U.S. strike demands include a Green New Deal, respect for indigenous land and sovereignty, environmental justice, protecting biodiversity, and sustainable agriculture. The strike will kick off on Friday, September 20 and actions will continue until the next Friday, September 27.

Fridays for Future started when then 15-year-old Greta Thunberg began striking in 2018 in front of the Riksdag – the Swedish parliament. She was inspired by U.S. teens who refused to go back to school and instead organized a massive national protest for gun control after the Parkland, Florida shooting. Ms. Thunberg gained publicity and captured a global audience with her clear voice and piercing castigation of adults in power who, “are sh–ting on my future.” Ms. Thunberg has, among other diagnoses, Asperger Syndrome. She attributes her ability to articulate the climate crisis to her capacity to think differently and see things in “black and white.” In an interview with TIME Magazine, she stated, “The climate crisis is, in some ways, black and white. Either we stop the emissions or we don’t, either we prevent setting off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control or we don’t.” Fridays for Future has become a weekly, international phenomenon. Ms. Thunberg was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year.

In May of 2019, Ms. Thunberg and other activists issued a request for adults to join on September 20. “We feel a lot of adults haven’t quite understood that we young people won’t hold off the climate crisis ourselves. Sorry if this is inconvenient for you. But this is not a single-generation job. It’s humanity’s job,” they stated, “So this is our invitation. Starting on Friday 20 September we will kick-start a week of climate action with a worldwide strike for the climate. We’re asking adults to step up alongside us.”

The U.S. Youth Climate Strike, a coalition of eight national youth-led climate groups, recently released their demands. In full, they are:

  • A Green New Deal
    • Transform our economy to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030 and phase out all fossil fuel extraction through a just and equitable transition, creating millions of good jobs
    • A halt to all leasing and permitting for fossil fuel extraction, processing and infrastructure projects immediately
  • Respect of Indigenous Land and Sovereignty
    • Honor the treaties protecting Indigenous lands, waters, and sovereignty by the immediate halt of all construction, leasing, and permitting for resource extraction, processing and infrastructure projects affecting or on Indigenous lands
    • Recognize the Rights of Nature into law to protect our sacred ecosystems and align human law with natural law to ban resource extraction in defense of our environment and people
  • Environmental Justice
    • A transition that invests in prosperity for communities on the frontlines of poverty and pollution
    • Welcoming those displaced by the cumulative effects of the climate crisis, economic inequality, violence, and lack of opportunity
  • Protection and Restoration of Biodiversity
    • Protection and restoration of 50% of the world’s lands and oceans including a halt to all deforestation by 2030
  • Implementation of Sustainable Agriculture
    • Investment in farmers and regenerative agriculture and an end to subsidies for industrial agriculture

Beyond Pesticides is supporting the global climate strike because toxic pesticides contribute to the climate crisis and mass extinction, and organic agriculture is part of the solution. If the U.S. is to meet the demand of protecting and restoring biodiversity, that must include a paradigm shift regarding indiscriminate, poisonous chemicals that leach away from their intended purposes and destroy life. Sustainable agriculture is not compatible with the continued use of toxic chemicals. The demand for regenerative agriculture motivates Beyond Pesticides to note that organic agriculture is regenerative, and the use of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers inhibits soil’s ability to capture carbon. The work of Beyond Pesticides stemmed from a commitment to farmworker justice, a frontline community to pesticide pollution and poisoning – the demand for environmental justice must include farmworkers.

If you are inspired to stand up and join young people in the global climate strike, you can find local events in your area. If there is not an event in your area, you can start your own. Want to join Beyond Pesticides in the strike in Washington, DC? Email [email protected].

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

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