Fears that climate change is creating a looming crisis brought thousands of young people out to march Friday in a series of mass protests across the nation.
“This is an emergency. Our house is on fire,” 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who sailed across the ocean in an emissions-free boat, told a crowd of several thousand people in New York City, according to Time.
The city had announced that public school students could skip classes to protest, The New York Times reported.
“We will do everything in our power to stop this crisis from getting worse. Why should we study for a future that is being taken away from us? That is being sold for profit?” Thunberg said.
“Everywhere I have been the situation is more or less the same. The people in power, their beautiful words are the same. The number of politicians and celebrities who want to take selfies with us are the same. The empty promises are the same. The lies are the same, and the inaction is the same.”
Hundreds of miles from the Big Apple, anxiety gripped University of Alabama students quizzed by Young America’s Foundation.
YAF spokesman Spencer Brown asked students which is the greater threat: ISIS or climate change?
“ISIS won’t be an issue if the Earth isn’t here, you know? Because the earth will be dead,” one student said at the Friday climate protest at the university.
Another student said the weather for Friday’s event illustrated the planet’s peril.
“We are literally threatened as a species at this point,” she said. “We can see it today in the Alabama heat. It’s not supposed to be 95 degrees in September.”
The Crimson White, the university’s student newspaper, had some more quotations from concerned collegians.
“The fate of our human existence is truly in question,” said Julia Alaimo, a junior who heads the University of Alabama’s Environmental Council.
“Some people say that we have 11 years, some say that we have around 15 months now to change the direction of where we are going as far as our fossil fuel usage and our greenhouse gas emissions. We don’t have enough time to consider if we need to make change. We have to make change. This is something everyone has to care about, not just a few select people, because this isn’t a partisan issue. This is something that affects everyone.”
The Alabama protest was among a nationwide network of hundreds of protests that captured the fears of young people that the planet is in grave danger.
Ariel Skolnick, 15, of San Francisco, was among the protesters on America’s West Coast, KQED-FM reported.
“There’s just so many things we can see happening, and it’s so, kind of terrifying to see how so many of the people in power really don’t believe it and are denying it. And it’s up to us, the youth, to try to make as much of a change as we can and try to get our voices out there as much as possible I want them to know that we are the future and we’re doing what we can to make sure that our future is going to be able to happen,” she said.
“Basically our earth is dying and if we don’t do something about it, we die,” said A.J. Conermann, 15, a high school sophomore who protested Friday in Washington, D.C., according to USA Today. “I want to grow up. I want to have a future.”
The fears protesters expressed did not cut much ice with Brown, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Just as school administrators whip students into agitated masses by terrifying them with falsehoods about conservatives, so the left has fear-mongered young people into hysterics over the allegedly imminent end of our planet. They tell the rising generation they only have a decade to save the planet and then decry conservatives for creating so-called climate anxiety, a problem of the left’s own making,” Brown said.
“These fear-mongers have — disgustingly — convinced young people that climate change is more dangerous than ISIS.
“The left has never been right on this front: From predictions of an impending ice age in 1975 to claims that the US would run out of fossil fuels by 1982, they use invented existential crises as a substitute for the facts they lack to push their flawed agenda.”
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