Why we support the Climate Strike
September 20, 2019 may be one of the biggest days of coordinated action in recent times and it will be an action led and coordinated by youth. By working with the university to provide a safe space to organize at if they so choose to join the assembly at Foley Square, along with the march and rally at Battery Park, the Tishman Center is supporting the strike and being an ally to the youth. This process has been created and led by the youth, and while raising our voices is to the benefit of everyone, they are the ones that will deal with the fallout of the actions of older generations’ pumping CO2 into the air. We will be providing materials to make signage and snacks for any students, staff and faculty at 66 W 12th. St. in the cafe and courtyard area.
If any of you use social media, you have probably come across those who are against the strike. Youth are speaking out to those who hold leadership titles to do something about the worsening climate crisis we are living through. Many of these attacks tend to focus on individuals instead of the content of what they are saying: While many of us will see the stability of our ecosystems further degrade, for young people today, a degrading quality of life is in their immediate future and they have no hand in shaping it.
It does not help that in the USA, the federal government is led by a cadre of climate deniers who have no problem lying about the weather , rolling back emissions standards on methane and vehicle emissions, and generally undoing whatever meager climate protections the previous administration put in place (and this is just the US). There should be absolutely no question as to why young people are fed up; we have effectively created an untenable situation for them to deal with and are not providing any help to deal with that huge burden.
If those with the political and financial power to do something now will not take action, then we must force change through continued movement building and shifting the political power to those who would wield it in service of people instead of profit. This is one way to ensure that new policies that are created from this are beneficial to the least empowered as much as they are to those who have enjoyed comfort at the expense of others. In short, we support the youth climate strike because it is the very least we can do to demonstrate our commitment to not only the youth, but for ourselves as well.
We are also asking that our New School Community sign this petition declaring a climate emergency that we will give to the senior leadership of the university. This is a small step, but an important one, as you cannot start to work on a problem until you recognize that a problem exists. We want to push The New School to take the climate crisis seriously as an institution and shift the culture from both the top down and bottom up to make the recognition and addressing of the climate crisis a priority. We believe that we can be better at creating a culture of climate leadership that is tied to our professed progressive values and that is beneficial to all communities. So please, if you are able, join us on September 20th (and beyond) and turn the Climate Strike into sustained action to lessen the effects of climate change that those that come after us will have to live with for generations.