Tuesday March 26, 2019

School Students Set to March for Global Climate Change Strike

"We are showing the rest of the country that we can fight for climate"

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Students are seen attending a "Climate Strike" protest in Canberra, Australia, March 15, 2019. VOA

Oil is everywhere in Oklahoma, says local student Luke Kerr.

But that has not deterred him from planning a protest calling for its phasing out in the state’s capital city on Friday – mirroring similar events due to be staged around the world by students skipping school.

“It is very important that strikes and marches take place in fossil-fuel producing areas of the country, like Oklahoma,” the high school senior said on Thursday.

“We are showing the rest of the country that we can fight for climate.”

With strikes planned in at least 168 U.S. cities and towns, mostly progressive communities, a handful of them like that set up by Kerr stand out for taking place deep in oil country.

The students are taking their cue from Swedish school girl Greta Thunberg whose weekly “school strike for climate” has sparked a global movement.

The school strike movement – which hopes to raise awareness on climate change and force policymakers to take action – has taken the world by storm in recent months, prompting school walkouts mostly in Europe and Australia.

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Students are seen during the global school strike for action on climate change outside New Zealand’s parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, March 15, 2019. VOA

Kerr and his fellow student protesters will rally just feet away from monumental, mock oil derricks next to the State Capitol in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma ranks fourth among all 50 states for oil production, whose burning is blamed for climate change. The southern state recently left its mark on the country when its former attorney general, Scott Pruitt, angered environmentalists due to his skepticism of mainstream climate science when he headed the Environmental Protection Agency.

About 38 percent of Oklahomans do not believe in global warming, an eight percentage point difference from the national average, according to a 2018 survey by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

In the adjacent state of Colorado, 7-year-old Forest Olson has been the driving force behind another climate rally in an area that is also among the country’s top fossil fuel producers.

The mountainous state ranks fifth nationally for its crude oil production, and tenth for coal, federal data shows.

But Olson, a first grader who lives outside the remote town of Telluride, is rallying high school and elementary school students there who have agreed to follow his lead to demonstrate on the county court house’s steps.

The young boy is witnessing the effects of climate change first hand, said his mother Josselin Lifton-Zoline, including reduced snowpacks on nearby ski slopes.

Snowpacks are expected to continue decreasing in size and affect water resources in the western United States, according to the National Climate Assessment, a U.S. government report.

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School students march up King William Street after attending the global #ClimateStrike rally at South Australia’s Parliament House in Adelaide, Australia, March 15, 2019. VOA

So Olson recently wrote to the town newspaper and spoke to his fellow pupils about taking to the streets.

“I love Earth and I don’t want it to be a disaster,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

ALSO READ: Students Worldwide Skip Class to Protest Governments’ Failure Against Global Warming

In Alaska’s capital city, Anchorage, German exchange student Maxim Unruh, said he had been inspired to bring the movement to this oil-rich state after a friend back home helped with Berlin’s first youth climate strike in December.

The 17-year-old high school senior said he expected some push back for exporting ideas perceived by some as foreign but had prepared a response.

“The climate crisis is a problem in the whole world, and it doesn’t matter from where – I’ll fight for climate justice,” he said. (VOA)

Next Story

Due to Global Warming Mount Everest Melting Glaciers Throw Up Climbers’ Bodies

According to studies, glaciers in the Everest region are melting and thinning

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The association's Treasurer, Tenzeeng Sherpa, said climate change was affecting Nepal with glaciers, in parts, melting by a meter every year. Pixabay

With the melting of glaciers and snow due to high temperatures, Mount Everest expedition operators are finding more and more bodies of climbers on and around the world’s highest peak.

More than 200 mountaineers have died on the peak since 1922, when the first climbers’ deaths on the Everest were recorded. Most bodies have remained buried under glaciers or snow, CNN has reported.

“Due to climate change and global warming, snow and glaciers are melting fast, and bodies are being exposed and discovered by climbers,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, former President of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

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“Since 2008, my company has brought down seven bodies, some dating back to a British expedition in the 1970s,” he said. Pixabay

“Since 2008, my company has brought down seven bodies, some dating back to a British expedition in the 1970s,” he said.

According to studies, glaciers in the Everest region are melting and thinning.

“It’s a serious issue. We are concerned about this as it’s getting worse,” said Sobit Kunwar, an official of the Nepal National Mountain Guides Association. “We are trying to spread information to have a coordinated way to deal with it,” he said.

The association’s Treasurer, Tenzeeng Sherpa, said climate change was affecting Nepal with glaciers, in parts, melting by a meter every year.

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“We bring down most bodies. But for those that could not be brought down we pay ours respects by saying prayers and covering them with rocks or snow,” Sherpa said. Pixabay

ALSO READ: PUBG Apologises to Indian Users After they Faced Inconvenience while Playing

“We bring down most bodies. But for those that could not be brought down we pay ours respects by saying prayers and covering them with rocks or snow,” Sherpa said.

He lamented poor response of authorities in dealing with bodies found on the mountain. “We have not seen the government taking any responsibility,” he said.

Recovering and removing bodies from higher camps can be both dangerous and expensive. (IANS)