Xavier students attend climate strike

Strike was a part of international protests demanding action on climate change

By Hannah Hover | Staff Writer

Newswire photo by Jeff Richardson

Students and residents of Cincinnati gathered at a student-lead strike at City Hall on Sept. 20 protesting the lack of action taken by government officials to prevent climate change. Xavier students participated in the strike, alongside an estimated 300 other climate change activists.

“I (hope) that Cincinnati, along with the rest of the world, will show our leaders that we are here and that climate change is here, and we need to stop it,” first-year political science major Adam Cooper said.

Caroline Skwara, a 17-year-old leader of  the strike said, “the strikes, now and in the future, will empower youth, especially youth of color, to get involved with the climate justice movement. (The goal is) to call for our demands and also use the power of the people of Cincinnati to show our city and U.S. government that these people are calling for justice and systemic change.”

Ben Leraris, a sophomore computer science major who was at the strike, thinks those in power need to change.

“I think we need a green new deal. I think we need to go to renewable energy sources and stop using fossil fuels, and respect the indigenous land that is not ours,” Leraris said. “I think this strike is important because if nothing changes, we’re going to die, and I want a world where I could grow up in and my kids and grandkids can grow up in. And at the pace we’re at, that currently won’t happen.”

Newsiwre photo by Jeff Richardson

Xavier students, like first-year English major Maddie Schramm, also expressed their concern for future generations.

“I think it’s important because we need to drastically change what we are doing if we are going to have a future for the next few generations because at the rate we’re at, this planet may not survive to see the 22nd century,” Schramm said.

Vox reported that this year’s strike is the largest ever, with 2,500 events held in 150 different countries. The worldwide strikes were inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist who is known for increasing awareness of climate change, and creating accountability for the lack of progress regarding the climate crisis.

“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!” Thunberg said in a speech in front of the United Nations on Sept. 23.  

These strikes, all led by students, were fueled by the international community’s lack of action to change rules and regulations that contribute to the changing climate.

NASA has confirmed “in the absence of major action to reduce emissions, global temperature is on track to rise by an average of six degrees Celsius (10.8 degrees Fahrenheit),” according to its latest estimates.

Some scientists argue a “global disaster” is already unfolding at the poles of the planet. They claim that the Arctic in just a few years may be completely ice free,

Other concerned experts worry about the Earth passing one or more points of no return.