Students Organize Earth Day Walkout for Climate Justice
Calls for Climate Justice
On the steps of Hanscom Hall, on a cold, blustery day with a dusting of April snow on the ground, Eliza Skillings ’21, Ella Raymond ’21, Hannah McMillan ’22, and Natsuka Kusumoto ’23 made an appeal to the Gould community to address the climate crisis. Here are Hannah’s remarks:
We are all children, and I find it unforgivable that this crisis is being ignored to the extent where we are having to fight for our own future. I am sick of the greed, the apathy, and the hypocrisy that we are faced with, in our own society. In the past, there have been a few environmental movements like this one, however, they all failed to create the lasting systemic change we needed. They were all focused on the environmental aspect of the movement and not the huge social justice part. Climate magnifies and worsens current problems present in our society, making it a more complex issue of inequality and climate violence. The “Global South”—a term used to describe developing and third-world countries—are the first to feel the impacts of climate change, and yet they didn’t do much to create it. After the Paris Climate Accord discussions, it was released in an Oxfam report that the richest 10 percent of people produce over 50 percent of all emissions, while the poorest produce less than 10 percent.
“I’m standing here today with a fire in my soul to maintain the momentum and integrity of this movement. Social and climate justice are the defining battles of our generation—with a little Covid on top. This time around, I hope we will achieve tangible, systemic change, altering our collective futures for the better.”
—Hannah McMillan ’22
Putting the habitability of the planet at risk is short-sighted and irresponsible. Our planet is dying at the hands of the elite while the humans who already have so little to begin with are having everything taken from them.
I’m standing here today with a fire in my soul to maintain the momentum and integrity of this movement. Social and climate justice are the defining battles of our generation—with a little Covid on top. This time around, I hope we will achieve tangible, systemic change, altering our collective futures for the better.
Sir David Attenborough once said, “We need to rediscover how to be sustainable and move from being apart from nature to becoming a part OF nature once again.”
But as of right now, we are failing our descendants. The world is heading for a 3.2-degree Celsius global temperature rise, which will bring more mass extinctions and large parts of the planet will be uninhabitable. Poor air quality, hunger, drought, floods, displacement, and public health crises like the one we’re living through right now, have seriously affected all of humanity, though it is especially bad in the Global South.
There have already been hundreds of thousands of deaths as a result of climate change. WE are failing, and I might even go further to say that we have already failed. What do you think our descendants will think of us? We are essentially going to hand them an uninhabitable planet. It’s not fair. Our leaders are standing by while we are all well aware of what is coming down the line. I am here today, trying to be a good ancestor to future generations and calling for immediate actions on the social issues that prevail in our society and play a significant role in the fight for climate justice. I am determined to be on the right side of history.