Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Jamaican teen becomes global climate activist after Trump comments

The White House has made it clear it will soon announce the specifics of its plan to combat climate change. And given the opportunities and risks it’s facing, it’s imperative that President Donald Trump continue to be held accountable for his climate reversal.

On Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden joined thousands of people in California and around the country for a historic climate march. Moving past the aggressive rhetoric and shouting that marked the march, protesters shared their stories of what a transformative climate transformation would mean for them and their families, and laid out the ways they hoped it would play out. One by one, they issued long-term calls to action to combat climate change with promises to hold President Trump and his administration accountable:

The children –

“I don’t think you should be allowed to burn fossil fuels. I think you should use it to power the world.”

– 14-year-old Los Angeles student Gabriel Deno

The college students –

“None of us will be able to have a traditional job or get married if there’s no way to feed our children.”

– 20-year-old Stanford student Amanda Lin

The workers –

“Climate change is our immediate existential threat.”

– Minority youth organizer Jazmine Avelino

The parents –

“We’ll be moving our family to the city that’s least affected, and we won’t send our children to the one that is most impacted.”

– Gabriel Deno

The faith leaders –

“All of our leaders need to be out there talking about the urgency of this problem, saying we need climate change to be dealt with right now.”

– Pastor Jerry Newberry from the Universal Life Church

The activists –

“I’m not concerned about my future like every millennial is.”

– Kate Oliver of the Wake Forest Institute for Climate Change Solutions

The volunteers –

“We’re not here to give the administration a pass. We’re here to call it for what it is.”

– 100-year-old Naomi Walker, mother of 10-year-old 9th-grader Lexi

The artists –

“You will not drown, and you will not be trapped in the climate-shaped debris that floods your homeland, engulfs your sacred sites, forces you to close your businesses, strip your oceans.”

– Carly Hill of Seattle fine art murals

The unions –

“You’re welcome, Mr. President, because our life support systems are going to be coming from international trade agreements.”

– Lori Hobson, President of the ILWU Local 10

The scientists –

“Every year we give up a half a degree of warming, every year we add billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, every year that we do that, our chance of survival decreases exponentially.”

– Timothy Ball, Climate Science Director, University of California Santa Barbara

The entrepreneurs –

“To my generation, the business of climate change has to be far more private than it has been to date.”

– Anna Garvey-Jones, founder of My Passion Seed Bank

The comedians –

“Each time we make a joke that I’m a liar about climate change, I’m cringing, and I don’t like it.”

– Sam Smith of “The Late Late Show”

The clergy –

“They get to make fun of us.”

– Jennifer Hennington, pastor from Central Presbyterian Church of Lithgow

The donors –

“We can’t bankroll the fact that other people don’t have the political influence that I do.”

– Lara Schlossberg, president of Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth

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