Climate activist Thunberg inspires Basalt student’s rally for Friday

Basalt Middle School student Oliver Fox-Rubin is among the millions of youth around the globe who have been inspired by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Fox-Rubin, a fifth-grader, organized the Climate Change Rally and Gathering on Friday in Basalt. He decided to hold the event one week after the national climate strike day Sept. 20 to make sure he could adequately plan the event and organize speakers.

Climate activism has been at the forefront of international news this week because Thunberg delivered an emotional speech Monday at the United Nations Climate Action Summit.

In Basalt, rally participants will march from Basalt Middle School to Lions Park starting at about 3:30 p.m. Presenters will take the stage at the park, which is beside Town Hall and the Art Base.

“Our goal with this event is to raise awareness and tell people that climate change is not OK!” said a website created by Fox-Rubin at

At the park, the presenters will give speak, lead a chant, dance or sing, according to the website. The event will wrap up around 5 p.m.

“This event will be led by kids and we would love to have grown-ups support us,” Fox-Robin’s website said.

We caught up with Oliver on Monday night for an e-interview.

Aspen Times: Tell me what inspired you to organize this event.

Oliver Fox-Rubin: I’m really worried that we only have 11 years before we can’t solve the climate crisis anymore and it’s too late. When I heard that Greta and the Sunrise movement were doing something for climate change, I thought, “Count me in!”

AT: What are a couple of things you have learned about climate change that concern you the most?

Oliver: The things that concern me the most are the 12 years report from 2018, fires and earthquakes from fracking.

AT: How will this event help bring about change?

Oliver: This event will put climate change at the front of people’s minds and focus so that it isn’t some issue that they care about but is in the back of their minds and they aren’t really doing anything about it.

AT: Considering that you are organizing climate events when you are in fifth-grade, do you foresee yourself staying involved in climate activism as you get older?

Oliver: Climate change will always be an important issue for me and I think that I will keep trying to do my part in order to keep the Earth a great place to live for the next generations.

AT: Do you think enough people — kids and adults — take climate change seriously?

Oliver: No, absolutely not. For most people, the issue of climate change isn’t in the front of their minds. For that reason, they are just worrying about the other things in their life.

Fox-Rubin closed his email with a quote from Thunberg: “I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic … and act as if the house was on fire.”