Birmingham youths will be joining young people in major cities around the world in demanding action on climate change at Global Climate Strikes timed to begin at 11a.m. on September 20, 2019. The Birmingham demonstration, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Linn Park entrance to City Hall, is one of over 500 around the world, including New York, London, and Tokyo. This massive, world-wide demonstration was originally inspired by Greta Thunberg, a sixteen-year-old climate activist from Sweden.
Birmingham’s climate strike is being organized by Stella Tarrant, a Simmons Middle School student, with assistance from other young people in the Birmingham area who share her deep concern that their future survival is threatened because not enough action is being taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change.
In recent decades, rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere have caused significant warming, aggravating weather patterns throughout the world, causing droughts and forest fires in some areas, and elsewhere causing floods and increasing the everity of hurricanes. Because of ocean warming, the U.S. has experienced five Category 5 hurricanes in the past 4 years, breaking the usual pattern of one Category 5 hurricane every 3 years. The buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere is also causing increased ocean acidification, which is damaging critical ocean ecology. Coral reefs, the biodiversity hotspots of the ocean, are being hit especially hard. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has lost about 30 per cent of corals on the reef since a mass bleaching event in 2016, caused by ocean acidification resulting from high CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
The goal of young demonstrators in Birmingham and around the world is to increase local and global awareness of the need for urgent climate action. According to 8 th grader Stella Tarrant, they hope to gather those in Birmingham passionate about effective environmental action to create a community of activists to push for change. Although young people are leading the massive demonstrations, all ages are encouraged to participate.
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