Record editorial: In fight against climate change, we put our hope in young people
On Friday morning, a large group of students at McPolin Elementary School stood outside, undeterred by the wet and chilly conditions, waving signs and calling for action on climate change at the same time young people all over the world were participating in the Global Climate Strike.
It was encouraging to see the children take part in the worldwide protests, and the McPolin students are hardly the only ones in Park City making their voices heard. Just two days earlier, for instance, the Summit County Council discussed implementing a ban on single-use plastic grocery bags like Park City’s prohibition at the urging of a group of local students who’ve been pushing the idea for months. And it was just in March that roughly two dozen Park City High School students gathered with peers from across the state at the Utah State Capitol to protest inaction on climate change.
As a community, we congratulate the young people who have joined others around the world in taking the lead on the issue. They have earned both our admiration and support, and adults who are also passionate about the issue should encourage any child or teen to find a way to join the cause.
After all, it is their fight. It will be the younger generations, and the ones that come after, that experience the most severe impacts of a warming planet. While adults currently occupy positions of power within Congress and statehouses, too many of them have abandoned the responsibility to take the kind of swift action that is necessary. If we are to walk back from the brink of the devastation that otherwise awaits, the world needs new voices like those of Park City’s students to step up.
If young people wait even a few more years to act, it will be too late. A United Nations report last year, for instance, indicates that we have until 2030 to prevent the earth from crossing a critical temperature threshold that would cause effects ranging from devastating wildfires sparking more frequently to extreme famine in many parts of the world.
Those of us who recognize the urgency of the situation must now place our hope in young people from all over the globe uniting together and turning the tide. There is no time to waste, but if the actions of the students in Park City and those like them are any indication, we still stand a fighting chance.
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