NJ Sierra Club Applauds Student Climate Strike
Students across New Jersey and around the world skipped school today to participate in “climate strikes” protesting global inaction on climate change. Organizers are calling on world leaders to take steps to slash greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep the planet from warming more than 1.5 degrees celsius by 2030.
“We are in a climate crisis, and we praise the students who are standing up and calling for action on climate change. Young people are the ones who are most affected by climate change, and it’s critical for them to help move us forward with a sense of urgency. It’s their future, and they are now fighting to clean up our mess,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.
Organizers of the climate strikes were expecting demonstrations in at least 112 countries, in more than 1,700 locations. In New Jersey, strikes and walkouts organized by the NJ Youth Climate Strike Coalition were planned in Mahwah, Montclair, Morristown and Princeton.
“Activism is important in forcing leaders to take action on climate change. When our young leaders lead, leaders will follow. Developing a grassroots campaign across the nation can and will make change as we’ve seen in the past with student mobilizations against the Vietnam War. Climate change impacts are worse and happening faster. Last year was the fourth hottest on record. Oceans are warming 40 percent faster than previously believed, with devastating effects. Climate change is an existential threat. The future of these students, all of our families and our communities depend on taking action against climate change,” said Tittel.
Organizers of the student climate strikes have also called on U.S. politicians to pass the Green New Deal, which aims to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions as part of a 10-year plan while building a green economy. The Green New Deal calls for new projects to modernize U.S. transportation infrastructure, de-carbonize the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, make buildings and homes more energy efficient and increase land preservation.
“Student activists are setting an example to be followed by making their voices heard on climate change. That’s even more vital considering the fossil-fool we have in the White House. Climate impacts have taken a huge toll on our state, and are getting worse. The Empower NJ coalition, which includes the New Jersey Sierra Club, has called on Gov. Murphy to place a moratorium on all fossil-fuel infrastructure projects. If the 5 proposed power plants and 8 proposed pipelines in NJ are built, greenhouse gases in the state will increase by 30 percent,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Young people are fighting for their future. Our leaders need to listen, and act to combat climate change.”