A challenge on climate change
To the Editor:
On Dec. 6, I participated in a climate strike in Plattsburgh sponsored by the Sunrise Movement, a group of young people organized to fight climate change.
Many of the youngsters appeared to be students but there were some young parents with infants in backpacks and toddlers in tow. There was a smattering of middle-aged people and at least one senior citizen (myself) supporting them. The Sunrise Movement people gave two short speeches. A young woman briefly summarized the issues they were concerned about and reminded us that the United States is the only country in the world that has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement.
The other speaker was an eighth grader from Saranac Lake who, while thanking her parents for the opportunity to grow up in the beautiful Adirondacks, expressed concern that unless immediate action is taken to avert the climate crisis this area will be irrevocably damaged and her children and grandchildren will suffer. As a group we walked quietly to the office of Representative Elise Stefanik to present a list of demands for actions regarding the climate crisis and social inequities.
That’s right the young people were not begging the congresswoman–they were boldly insisting that she do her job. Not surprisingly, Ms. Stefanik was nowhere to be seen.
But this movement is not about one member of congress, it is much larger than that. I am convinced that these young people (those who are old enough) will vote in 2020 and in future elections. If the course of history can be changed for the better, they will change it.
Michael C. Sinclair, MD