Students organize a walkout combatting environmental apathy


Maria Newton

Senior Noah Wright makes a poster for the Youth Climate Strike on March 15. He has been an organizer for the walkout in St. Louis. “Climate change is a massive problem that must be addressed as soon as possible,” Wright said. “I encourage all West students to get involved in their future and join us downtown.”

A nation-wide walkout is being organized by students all over the nation, including senior Noah Wright, to pressure lawmakers to take action regarding climate change.

“It is a call to action for lawmakers to address the threat of climate change. There are some specific demands, the most important being support for the Green New Deal,” Wright said. “Students across the country are saying ‘hey, we can participate in democracy, too.’ It is important for students to get involved. We have a working democracy, but you have to pay attention and participate.”

Much of the passion that fuels this movement is lawmakers’ aversion to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed Green New Deal.

“I think it would cost us less money to invest in [renewable energy sources] now then it’ll cost us in the future if we fail to act on climate change,” Wright said. “Climate change is going to have a real cost to us and it’s going to have an economic cost to the world. I feel that it is not being addressed in our government. We’re running out of time.”

Wright got involved by emailing Youth Climate Strike US. He was inspired both by what he has learned in AP Environmental and Honors Environmental Sustainability as well as the multiple natural disasters that have been occurring around the globe.

“Hurricane Harvey really [made me realize that] real peoples’ lives are being affected by this. While natural disasters are not caused by climate change, they are going to occur more frequently,” Wright said. “People are going to lose their lives. That’s what really motivated me to get involved.”

A large majority of scientists are in agreement that climate change will become irreversible with the next 12 years, making it a pertinent issue for lawmakers. Junior Sabrina Bohn is also attending the walkout.

“I’m walking out because, especially in the last few years, there have been so many warnings from scientists that climate change is real and that it is happening, yet, there has been very little change governmentally,” Bohn said. “By walking out, I want to make the statement that I will not just stand by while the country and the world continue to ignore the horrifying facts. It is in the hands of the government to enforce environmental regulations, especially on corporations.”

The event will be held Friday, March 15 from noon to 2 p.m. outside of the Old St. Louis County Courthouse.

“Anyone [can participate in this walkout],” Wright said. “We’re going to have speakers, including myself. If anyone wants to join, they can contact me for information about carpooling. There is power in numbers, so we want as many people there as possible. Please spread the news.”