September 25, 2019

Climate Strike in NYC

By Mechtild Schmidt Feist, Clinical Professor of Digital Communications and Media, DAUS

Last Friday, September 20, over 200,000 of us joined the students striking for action on the Climate Crisis. Students from NYU Earth Matters and colleagues from NYU joined a march of concerned students and citizens as diverse as New York City - across all incomes, ethnicities, ages. This is New York at its best. Walking down Broadway, I saw the windows at Woolworth NYU full with supporting signs by faculty, staff and students. I was happy to see so many respond to the urgent call by youth climate activists; I am happy to see the crisis is starting to be understood by some presidential candidates and other governors, mayors, teachers.

Rally member

Now, after we pad ourselves on our collective shoulders for a march well done, let’s not stop here. This is not the time to wait for another election, another law, to start with timid energy-saving measures and jet to yet another summit (with entourage). We had that chance 30 years ago when we thought today’s climate crisis would happen in maybe 200 years.

We have work to do. We have to vote into office candidates that are unbeholden to fossil fuel interest. We have to question a system that rewards unsustainable growth and extraction while taking nature and laws of physics for granted. And we have to look into the mirror: Do I need that drink in a single-use plastic cup? Do I need the latest phone? Do I need to fly that much, to drive that much, to have my clothes and berries flown around the world? Can you and I be slightly inconvenienced to make it possible that humans (that is you and I) can live a secure and decent life in 20, 30, 40 years?

If you think this is the time for more studies, for small steps, I URGE YOU to watch this 4-minute UN video. On Monday, September 23, Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish girl who initiated the “Fridays for Future Climate Strike” held a moving speech at the UN Youth Climate Action Summit.

I wish you all a day of reflection with the optimistic notion that we all can contribute to a livable planet in our work and the choices we make.

climate change rally

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