Keep the Climate Strike going

Staff Editorial

At the Global Climate Strike Sept. 20, we were struck by the messages written on the many handmade signs raised in the air.

A young girl, sitting atop a parent’s shoulders, held a sign written in crayon: “Are erth is grat.” Another held by a student, was painted in black and red on a Bernie 2020 poster. “Mad as Hell,” it read.

In the midst of all these messages, it’s easy to wallow in the negative. The house is on fire, but at the strike we saw the firefighters.

As the Cynic reported from the strike on Church Street, we felt empowered by the estimated 3,000 people in attendance.

As proven by the more than 600 students who participated, many students at UVM care about environmental justice and climate action.

We can see Camel’s Hump from our dorm room windows and Lake Champlain from the Waterman green.

We can be in a poetry class in the morning and on the ski slope in the afternoon.

In order to protect these natural wonders so close to home, we must carry Friday’s momentum into tomorrow. 

If we want to teach our children how to ski, and to show them our favorite hiking spots, we must show up for the environment not just this past Friday but every day.

UVM students should show up for every climate march, not just the ones that gain global attention.

Show up for campus divestment protests, and show up at the local ballot box.

Students should use their voices to back organizations that align with their values. 

Olympic snowboarder Alex Deibold visited UVM on behalf of Protect Our Winters, a non-profit focused on systematic solutions to climate change, April 10.

“Climate change doesn’t have a summit,” Deibold said. “We’re never going to get to the top and be like ‘okay, we’re good.’”

Deibold is right. No single protest or speech will stop the climate change that has already begun.

Only a sustained movement that faces the facts and demands action will save our planet.