Contributed photo by Corey Wiscomb.
                                The slogan “There is no Planet B” read on signs in Washington D.C., Berlin and Orcas Island

Contributed photo by Corey Wiscomb. The slogan “There is no Planet B” read on signs in Washington D.C., Berlin and Orcas Island

Students organize island strike for climate

  • Fri Sep 20th, 2019 11:29pm
  • News

Orcas Island youth participated in a global climate strike on Friday, Sept. 20 and walked out of school in protest of climate change.

According to Greta Thunberg, the Swedish 16-year-old whose fire ignited a climate action explosion, 4,638 events were slated to take place in 139 countries on Sept. 20.

One of the many handmade signs at the strike, organized by Orcas Island High School seniors Arla Sutton and Birdie Greening, read “Sorry we are leaving you with such a mess,” however, young people all over the world are responding “that’s not good enough.” Mimi Diepenbrock and Berto Gándara Perea spoke on behalf of the movement, asking the crowd to have Mercy on the earth and all of its inhabitants.

The most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states climate change is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced. As of January 1, 2018, there are 12 years left to cut our global carbon dioxide emissions in half in order to have a 50 percent chance of staying below 1.5 degrees celcius global temperature rise above pre-industrial levels.

Current scientific calculations do not include non-linear tipping points as well as most unforeseen feedback loops like the powerful methane gas escaping from rapidly thawing arctic permafrost or already locked in warming hidden by toxic air pollution. The United States is the biggest carbon polluter in history as well as the world’s number one polluter of oil. The U.S. is also the only country in the world to signal strong intentions to leave the Paris Agreement because “it was a bad deal to the USA.”

During the open mic portion of the event on Friday, a man took to the stage and asked: “If you had to pick one, which do you pick? The profit system or the human race?”

The event concluded with an Eastsound beach clean up. Another climate strike will take place in the Village Green on Sunday, Sept. 29, from 1-4 p.m.

Photos by Laura Kussman and Corey Wiscomb.

 

Contributed photo by Corey Wiscomb.
                                Friends console each other on the Village Green during the Global Climate Strike on Friday, Sept. 20

Contributed photo by Corey Wiscomb. Friends console each other on the Village Green during the Global Climate Strike on Friday, Sept. 20

An arising question of the global climate movement posed by young people is “why should we study for a future that is being stolen from us?”

An arising question of the global climate movement posed by young people is “why should we study for a future that is being stolen from us?”

The back of this sign read, “Your house is on fire. Wake up! Act accordingly.”

The back of this sign read, “Your house is on fire. Wake up! Act accordingly.”

Led by students at Orcas Island High School, climate strikers marched in the streets of Eastsound at noon

Led by students at Orcas Island High School, climate strikers marched in the streets of Eastsound at noon

Protesters headed back to the Village Green to listen to speakers and share in an open mic

Protesters headed back to the Village Green to listen to speakers and share in an open mic

The Orcas Food Co-op and Sequel closed their doors for the afternoon so employees could attend the climate strike. Rain Shadow Solar business owners offered employees an hour of paid time off to attend any of the three events held on Orcas, San Juan or Lopez

The Orcas Food Co-op and Sequel closed their doors for the afternoon so employees could attend the climate strike. Rain Shadow Solar business owners offered employees an hour of paid time off to attend any of the three events held on Orcas, San Juan or Lopez

“I’m missing science class for this”

“I’m missing science class for this”

“Dogs are for the earth”

“Dogs are for the earth”

Provided by Wildlife Cycles

Provided by Wildlife Cycles

Speakers Berto Gándara Perea (left) and Mimi Diepenbrock (right)

Speakers Berto Gándara Perea (left) and Mimi Diepenbrock (right)

Expert storytelling duo Eth-No-Tec concluded the event with a tale from Cambodia

Expert storytelling duo Eth-No-Tec concluded the event with a tale from Cambodia

Organizers Arla Sutton (left) and Birdie Greening (right)

Organizers Arla Sutton (left) and Birdie Greening (right)