Annie Wright students join youth effort for climate change


Annie Wright students join the climate strike at People’s Park in Tacoma. Photo by Lillian Prime.

Emily Simons, Reporter

On September 20, three days before the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City, more than 7.6 million people walked out across the globe to strike to take transformative measures to address the current climate plight. This strike was targeted toward pressuring the world leaders attending the UN Climate Summit to enhance the universal policy for climate change. 

Spearheading this movement for youth is 16-year-old Greta Thunburg. Over the past year, she has advocated for the Earth and its climate. Every Friday, she misses class in order to protest outside of Sweden’s parliament for a change in the country’s alignment with the Paris Agreement. She plans to remain protesting for the climate until Sweden begins to annually reduce its emissions by 15%, which is a clear aspect of the Paris Agreement.

Since beginning to protest, Greta Thunburg has been able to speak out at the U.N.’s Climate Action Summit, where she has been able to spread her views to a wider audience. In this speech, she said, “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”

When asked about how Greta Thunberg has affected her view on the climate issue, Lillian Prime responded with: “I think Greta’s age may have been a barrier for her at first, but now that she is a prominent public figure, I see it as a strength of hers. It allows her to stand out and gain more attention. This attention gives her more power and allows her to spread her message to a larger audience. I, along with many others, see Greta Thunberg’s actions as exemplary. I agree wholeheartedly with her message.”

Prime and other members of the Annie Wright Upper School community attended the climate strike at People’s Park in Tacoma.”The climate strike felt very empowering,” Prime said. “We listened to speeches, songs and poems at Puget Park and then marched to the Tacoma City Council to demand that Tacoma declare a climate emergency.”

She also emphasized the strike’s impact. “The impact of striking, specifically this strike, is the vast number of people who came out to show their support and the impact that has on onlookers,” she said. Hopefully this impact is to understand why this issue is so important to so many people and then to somehow get involved themselves. I also hope that this will change the conversation of global activism due to the sheer number of countries and young people involved.”