Teo, Tao and Xu: Why we organized the Youth Climate Strike
Youth at a 2018 climate strike in San Jose are pictured in this file photo.

    On Sept. 20, there will be a Youth Climate Strike in San Jose involving student participants from several schools across Silicon Valley as well as adult allies. Sept. 20 is a global day of action that will see young people around the world striking from their schools and workplaces by the millions.

    The strike matters because it gives us an opportunity to express ourselves and our growing concern for the health of our planet. It gives the younger generation a chance to spread our message in hopes that others may take action as well and understand what we are fighting for: our future and the future of generations to come. We’re ordinary people who have an opinion and striking helps us bring a specific list of demands to the attention of our local government and elected officials.

    What we ask of local governments, tech companies and schools is to take immediate action to divest from fossil fuels and transition to sustainable and renewable energy in offices, schools and homes by 2025. Burning fossil fuels takes an immense toll on the environment and adds to global temperature rise. Our specific demands tackle government funding for increased public transportation and eliminating single-use plastics from schools and businesses.

    The requests we’re making can be achieved through public policy changes, hard work and dedication, benefitting not only our local community, but the entire world. With this Youth Climate Strike, we hope to build support for our cause and raise more awareness about the dire climate situation affecting the future of our human race.

    We are striking because we’re tired of seeing all talk and no change. We are using our resources wastefully and inefficiently, and as a result, we are quickly approaching a point of no return. We see the warnings in the news and we fear that without drastic and immediate climate action, the earth will become unlivable. The current measures being taken against the climate crisis nationally and on a global level are not creating enough change to save our future generations from its deadly effects. The people who have the power to improve our situation are not listening.

    As the years pass, it becomes increasingly crucial that we take action to protect our health and safety and that of our planet’s fragile ecosystems. After all, earth is our one and only home. We hope that by rallying people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in this climate strike, we can spread this urgent message and help mobilize a movement for immediate climate action.

    We encourage students to talk to their teachers, parents and classmates about the strike and our climate demands. The strike begins with a march from Diridon Station near downtown San Jose to San Jose City Hall. Join us at 2:45 pm at Diridon Station on Friday, Sept. 20 as we strike for our future!

    Allison Teo, Jocelyn Tao and Connie Xu are local high school students and members of the Silicon Valley Youth Climate Strikes Marketing Committee. For more information about the Silicon Valley Youth Climate Strike on Sept. 20, visit www.svyouthclimatestrike.org

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