Seo-Ho Lee and Naomi Johnson: ‘We can’t afford to grow up before taking action’

  • Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, greets supporters as she arrives in New York, Wednesday, Aug. 28. She is scheduled to address the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23. AP

Monday, September 23, 2019

In the past few months, climate activism has gone viral. Climate organizations like the Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion have rocketed into the mainstream, and in March over 1.4 million striked school internationally.

The youth are leading a massive effort in response to gross government inaction. We’ve proven that we have about a decade, maybe less, to prevent a climate apocalypse. Yet, our leaders are content to lie back and accept millions from fossil fuel moguls choosing personal profit over humanity.

The climate crisis demands huge collaborative action among ages, ethnicities and locations. The people need to put aside our differences and focus on our collective future.

Through long hours in the night, frenzied email chains, and frequent video calls, the world’s youth has finally come together into a powerful movement. As a result, the entire week of Sept. 20-27 is now marked as an International Strike week, with millions of students striking globally on the 20th and dozens of climate-related events planned in Massachusetts alone.

On Sept. 20th, students from across Massachusetts will converge in Boston for the Boston Climate Strike, organized by Youth Climate Strike MA. Thousands will gather at City Hall Plaza for a rally with music, speakers and community tabling before marching to the Statehouse for a massive action demanding climate justice.

Students from western Massachusetts will come to the rally on chartered buses, with plenty of support rallies at home for those who can’t commute. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2:30 pm and kickoff a week of international action.

The strike is almost entirely organized by teenagers, because we can’t afford to grow up before taking action. It is, quite literally, now or never.

Seo-Ho Lee and
Naomi Johnson