Monday, September 23, 2019

Springfield students skip class, join global climate strike

They skipped class, but Friday was anything but a day off for Springfield high school and college students as they joined millions of people across the world in the Global Climate Strike.

About 70, mostly younger, people gathered near the quad on the campus of the University of Illinois Springfield, calling upon leaders from the local level on up to take greater action to solve the climate crisis.

With a mix of speeches and chants, the students hope that their message is getting across to decision-makers under the dome in Springfield and in Washington, D.C. ″... today is not a day off, it is a day on,” said Francesca Butler, a junior at UIS and the event’s organizer. “We didn’t decide to blow classes for the hell of it, we do plenty of that. Today is not a day where we lay in bed and wish that some talking head would do something about deforestation in the Amazon. Today, we recognize that we are powerful in numbers. Today, we realize that when we band together as a local, national and global community, we can work together and demand real change.”

The protesters said these changes need to be both small-scale — something as simple as consuming less red meat to cut methane emissions — and systemic — several made the pitch for Illinois lawmakers to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which would put the state on the path to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on September 20, 2019.

Read the entire article online.