Students, dressed in red and black, gathered in Centennial Mall today to strike in solidarity with the climate-crisis movements taking place around the world.
From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., students, faculty and community members stood together with cardboard signs in unified support of bringing awareness to climate change issues on campus and in the Bowling Green area.
The Bowling Green strike coincides with protests occurring in over 180 countries and several thousand locations in the past week. A report from the Guardian last week stated the movement is arguably the largest and furthest reaching demanding action against climate change.
It marks the first climate strike to happen on campus and is a continuation of last Friday’s Global Climate Strike, where millions of people broke away from their daily lives and walked out of school or their jobs to spread the word about climate change.
Junior Jessica Williams, of Florence, organized the climate strike to educate others on the effects of climate change.
“Climate change has a real impact on society,” Williams said to the audience. “How are we going to have a future if our world is burning?”
Her “call-to-action” was a plea for people to be active in saving the environment and not living as bystanders while the Earth slowly becomes an uninhabitable home for all living things. Some students dressed in black and delivered a eulogy for the earth, signaling that they thought things have already gone too far.
“We can’t wait another year, we can’t wait another month, we can’t wait another day,” Williams said in an interview with WKU Public Radio. “Something needs to happen now. And that’s why I am organizing the climate strike.”
Recent demands for action against climate change can be traced in part to Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, who spoke in front of the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on Sept. 23.
“We will not let you get away with this,” Thunberg said. “Change is coming, whether you like it or not.”
Williams used the forest fires in the Amazon rainforest as an example which was a popular topic in the U.S. a little over a month ago. Many were outraged by the slowness of news outlets to cover the environmental disaster.