This morning February 19, dozens of youth from across Washington State converged on Olympia with their families to urge serious and swift attention to climate change. Several of the youth are plaintiffs in the lawsuits against the Washington State and Federal government, which demand such attention in order to protect their constitutional rights to a future.
Photo by Alexandra Blakely
The youth held a press conference on the steps of the Capitol building, and then marched to the Governor’s mansion to deliver an old-growth redwood tree seedling--part of the "Moving the Giants" assisted migration effort, because the redwoods are now at risk in California . Having offered this symbolic gift, the youths met with state legislators' offices, demanding that the legislators protect their right to a healthy future by halting all new fossil fuel infrastructure, committing to a state economy running on 100% renewable energy within 10 years, and increasing carbon sequestration in Washington’s forests and soils.
Children holding Redwood trees. Photo by Alexandra Blakely
“There is no point in passing weak legislation just for the sake of saying you’ve 'done something.' We need bold legislation that actually puts us on the track to 350ppm and climate recovery," said 16 year-old Jamie Margolin, a member of Plant for the Planet.
"Our future is only as protected as we ourselves make it. If the adults are not going to do it, we'll have to do it ourselves. There isn't time anymore to wait around," added 14 year-old Athena Fain.
The Youth Lead the Way Climate Lobby Day was a part of the Climate Countdown, a statewide grassroots campaign highlighting the urgency of the climate crisis and demanding that the Washington legislature take bold climate action now. There are only 16 days and 20 hours remaining in the 2018 legislative session; the youth say they will keep the pressure up, and that the legislators should think of them before they let climate bills die in committee.