Youth Climate Strike. Greta Thunberg started with an idea, and it is taking off with youth across the globe.
The world is on our shoulders, and nobody knows that, and feels it every day, quite like these leaders of local Youth Climate Strike organizations. They see the news reports in Arizona of wildfires that keep getting bigger, and burning more houses. They read reports from universities and NASA that show global changes including former islands now under water, American cities flooded from hurricanes that are bigger than ever before, and drought that results in Arizonans whose water taps run dust.
What could possibly be more important to this generation of school children than the quality of the air they breathe? ....
People are dying from the extreme heat in Maricopa County at alarming rates. We are on the brink of not attaining air quality standards in Maricopa County and that problem could lead to a dead halt of economic growth. The trends are far more steep than they were when I was a child. Today's youth are worried. The year 2050 to them is not far away at all, but predictions for that decade are dire.
You may say, "Children should not strike and miss school days."
I agree with you. So do the youth-organizers of Youth Climate Strike Arizona. That is why their Strike will start at 4:00 pm September 20, 2019 at the State Capitol.
I applaud the efforts of these youth leaders for bringing attention to this most important issue.
Saturday, September 7, 2019, I participated in the Youth Climate Summit, as these young advocates learned how best to be heard and have an impact on public policy.
I am listening to them because we share these concerns:
- Air quality affects all of us, and is at a critical point for those with asthma, COPD, and other lung challenges.
An Arizona high school track team chose to fund-raise for an electric school bus out of empathy for their teammate's asthma triggered by bad air quality.
Grandparents with COPD can feel it with every breath.
- Drought in Arizona affects the livelihood of those in agriculture, and the lives of those in places where wells are drying.
- Extreme heat hurts our health.
The urban heat island makes working and living downtown painful for many and deadly for some.
- Wildfires in Arizona are trending toward more acres and more homes destroyed.
For these reasons, I have established the Sustainability Work Group in the Arizona Legislature, along with Rep. Kirsten Engel and Sen. Andrea Delassandro.
We are legislators and stakeholders who meet weekly with scientists to define specific problems and evaluate potential solutions.