Is The Younger Generation On Their Way to Making A Difference For Our Climate?

On March 15th, 2019, about 1.4 million students from 123 countries skipped school to take part in the protest against climate change. Countries that took part in this protest included Italy, Mexico, the United States, Canada, Chile, and the Philippines. This protest was said to be one of the largest environmental protests in history and was not the only first, but one of many from a series of protests that sparked when student and Swedish activist Greta Thunberg began her fight to promote awareness about climate change. Greta began protesting in September of 2018, and since then has encouraged students to join her in her goal to get the media’s attention to write about the global issue of climate change with the hopes of opening people’s eyes to the reality that climate change is a threat to future generations. Greta, along with other student protestors, also hopes that governments around the world will enact policies to protect the earth from the effects of climate change and to look for solutions to combat the changes that have already occurred.

After talking multiple Cape Henry students, each one recognized that climate change is a real issue in our world today, and they were also aware of the student-led climate strikes held on March 15th. Seniors Emily Ryan, Aidan Kale, and Kate Vittone agreed that although climate change is a real concern in our world today, “it’s not as bad as people are saying.” Kate furthered her statement that climate change is “not as crazy as some people have said” with her understanding that “if we don’t improve and clean up, then I think it can get worse; however, I see people making changes every da,y so I think we will be fine for the next hundred years or so.” When asked if they would’ve participated in a climate strike if other Cape Henry were involved, Emily, Aidan, and Kate all answered no. Aidan’s reason for not partaking in a climate strike is because he thinks that “the schools should not be punished for climate change.” He believes that protestors should urge the responsibility of protecting the people from the effects of climate change on to the government “because climate change affects everyone in the world.”

Changing the ways and habits within our lifestyles will be difficult, but necessary for combating Climate Change. When asked if they considered themselves environmentally friendly, Kate admitted that she “tried being vegan but it just wasn’t me” while Aidan believed that he doesn’t think anyone is. In order to combat climate change, Emily thinks that we as humans need to “try to fix pollution from major industries by having better filtration when pollutants are being released out into the air.” Kate, on the other hand, thinks the way for us to combat climate change is by starting at home, with “you putting an effort in your own life and showing support to the companies that are making a difference in the environment.”

Ultimately, the younger generations of our world today are the most at risk due to the fact that they are the ones who are going to be living through the negative side effects of climate change for the years to come. If the government fails to realize this, then our earth will continue to spiral downwards, causing the climate to further warm and put the lives of the population at risk of the harmful side effects of the changing atmosphere.