Students strike for change 

Christine, Managing Editor

“If no one else will take action, then we will.” 

These words spoken by Greta Thunberg, 16-year-old activist and advocate for climate change, sparked a global movement to fight against climate change and protect the future of the earth.  


Specifically, many students and members of Generation Z have participated in strikes as part of Fridays for Future. Originating in Sweden, Fridays for Future is an international movement of students who take time off class to participate in demonstrations to demand environmental action by the government. 


The movement has spread from Sweden all the way to Commack, where students have also participated in strikes to fight against climate change.  


“I strike for climate change to show how important this issue is, especially in our lives today […] By striking with tens of thousands of other people, we can really show the government and companies that [climate change] is an issue that many people are passionate about,” said sophomore Defne A.  


Fridays for Future has stood out as a movement because many younger individuals take part in these demonstrations and protests. The impact of younger leaders is different from that of lawmakers.  


“Typically, you see lawmakers and people in government taking strong positions in terms of the environment and climate change. Having younger activists, especially publicized in the media, gives us the idea that we will be able to make changes as significant as those of older people,” said junior Gavin C., president of the Environmental Awareness Club. 


Younger people may be more motivated to fight for the earth so that there is more hope for the future. 


“We have one earth and we’re destroying it. Young people especially feel like they have to do something because they have many years left on this earth. They want it to be the best it can be,” said Environmental Awareness Club adviser Debbi Berke.  


While a goal of the Fridays for Future movement is to make lawmakers and government officials aware of the dangers of climate change, another is to make more people aware of what they can do to protect the earth.  


“It’s a shame that when the government is not intervening, making laws to reduce emissions, the people individually do what’s good for them and it may not be what’s good for the environment,” said Berke.  


There are many efforts people can make to help slow climate change and spread environmental awareness. 


“Many people choose to go vegan—the process of getting animal products releases a lot of harmful carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Using reusable water bottles, going thrifting and not buying new clothes are small ways to help our earth,” said Defne A.


The Fridays for Future movement is ongoing and aims to make significant strides in the battle against climate change. It has also successfully established that younger people have the power to make their voices heard. 


“When younger students strike, it shows that our generation is really taking the lead to fix the climate crisis. It’s our future, so we’re the ones who have to take a stand for it,” said Defne A.


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