A child shall lead | AspenTimes.com

A child shall lead

Like Leif Erikson 1,000 years ago, 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic to America on Aug. 28. She came not to conquer the New World, but to defeat what may be the most daunting challenge mankind has ever faced, the coming climate catastrophe. Every Friday since August of last year, Thunberg has skipped school to go to the Swedish parliament and demand climate action, and now she’s carrying that message to the United Nations.

The Greatest Generation may have taken on the Great Depression and World War II, but that was child’s play compared to what the current younger generation will be facing if we don’t do something about the greenhouse gases we’re pumping into the atmosphere. Youngsters like Thunberg and 12-year-old Haven Coleman of Denver aren’t waiting for their elders to act. They’re taking matters into their own hands.

That’s why organizations worldwide seeking to reverse the effects of climate change are following Thunberg’s lead and planning a strike, where workers and students walk out of their workplaces and schools and demand climate action. At noon Sept. 20, 350 Roaring Fork is putting together such an event at Sopris Park in Carbondale.

Youth participation is crucial. Their future is at stake. Us baby boomers will all be dead by the time the full effects of the climate crisis hits. 350 Roaring Fork, with a lotta help from their friends, is reaching out to the local schools for their approval and consent. We’d like the majority of the speakers to be students. If a few teachers wanna join in, that’d be great.

Maybe you don’t want your children to cut even one class. Consider this: Thunberg has been ditching Fridays for over a year now and if you’ve heard her speak, you know her language skills haven’t suffered. Her knowledge of climate science demonstrates shows she’s not falling behind in math and science, either.

We encourage all participants to walk, ride bikes, or take public transportation to the event. Eagle Crest Nursery in El Jebel is offering 40% off on all tree sales on that date.

Don’t the climate change deniers love their children too? I know we do, and we’d like to leave them with a planet that’s at least as healthy as the one we inherited.

“You say you love your children above all else and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.” — Greta Thunberg

Fred Malo Jr.