High school students gathered at the Rhode Island State House on Friday morning to call for a solution to the crisis of climate change, on the same day that thousands of other students went on “climate strikes” from school around the world.
Local organizer Joelye Land, a North Kingstown high school junior, said the rally was inspired by Swedish political activist Greta Thunberg, who has organized days of striking from school since last year.
“The government is not really taking a lot of strong action that is going to save our planet,” Land said.
Land and co-organizers plan to appeal to local legislators in the near future to take stronger action. Some parents were also on hand to support the dozens of gathered students.
Diane Hill, a North Kingstown resident and grandmother of a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old, said she was standing with the students because she believes something needs to be done about climate change.
“We have a moral imperative to do something about the climate crisis. I’m profoundly concerned for my grandchildren’s future,” Hill said.
Participants cited a report from last October from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which said in 2030, the planet will be nearly three degrees above pre-industrial levels, and precipitate the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages.