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Meet The Teens Leading San Diego’s Climate Strike

March 14, 2019 2:10 p.m.

GUEST:Kate Anchondo, senior, Hilltop High School

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Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

Kaye PBS is reported by the law firm of moons working with startups and growing companies Mint's legal services can help clients raise capital secure space and protect intellectual property. To achieve strategic goals more at MedStar calm Mintz built on excellence driven by change some San Diego students are getting ready to take part in a climate change strike tomorrow.

One of the many taking place all over the world. Gretta Thornburg a Swedish teenager inspired a global movement to fight climate change.

Many people say that Sweden is just a small country and it doesn't matter what we do. But I've learned that you are never too small to make a difference. And if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to. As part of our climate change desk Series K PBS host Mark Sauer talks with Kate unsure Ando a senior at Hilltop high school who's leading Friday's strike to demand political action on climate change.

So Kate what inspired you to organize this Youth Climate Strike.

I've never really been that involved in climate action but climate change has always been something that's been important to me and that I've been worried about. But I saw the whole strike movement on Twitter actually. So from there I went on the national website and just kind of looked to see if there was any strikes near me. But there wasn't so I just decided to organize or organize it myself because I thought it was important right.

And you're talking about the strikes as one been a constant one in New York near the United Nations and another one in Europe and both of those young women are pretty much your age. Yes. So that that was something you connected with. Yeah. How did the climate in the these scare and the fear about climate change and in humans affecting climate internationally and what the effects can be. How did that first make an impression on you. How did you start realizing that this is a very serious problem.

Well I've always kind of noticed it but I think that with the recent reports that came out this past year especially like the IPCC report that kind of really made a lot of people think about it a lot more it's giving us like an ultimatum like you have to do something now or the worst effects are going to come and that IPCC report of course that's the one you're referring to that came out in October from the United Nations and that both many scientists climate scientists from around the world.

So what is the message what kind of message you hope to get across in your climate change strike on Friday basically that the youth wants there to be a dramatic change in how we're handling the climate crisis. Because I feel like right now we're not really facing it head on and we're kind of just digging ourselves into a deeper hole. So basically that the youth wants change and that we need to have it.

Okay. And you're a senior in high school you're hoping to get other seniors juniors anyone obviously but you're talking about 16 17 year olds. You're not quite ready to vote yet but you will be soon. Yeah. So you're talking about a growing constituency that's that's coming on and is aware. So is that that's part of your message then to try to tell politicians look we may not be voting this year but we're gonna vote.

Yeah I definitely like the people who aren't take taking this seriously. Basically we're gonna be the next generation that's voting. And if you're not taking it seriously then you're out.

Will you be let's say you're a senior as I said that will you be voting in the 2020. Yes and you will get your first look. Yes. Why do you think your generation is so critical in this debate nationally No.

I think just because we're going to be the ones that are most affected by it and future generations past generations have kind of failed us and leaving us behind a planet that's not really ideal. So I feel like we should have the biggest say in how we handle it.

So if you look at someone like President Trump for example who's been a climate denier again last week he was tweeting his his sentiments about climate change not being caused by man and about it all being a hoax at all. But if you look at someone his age who's in his early 70s that's 55 years older than the people you hope to get to your rally on Friday what do you think the world will be like in 55 years if we continue on this path when you're the age of the president now.

Well if we don't do anything about it then I know that we're all just going to really regret not doing something about it and if we do do something about it which I hope that we do then just kind of not have that same attitude towards issues like these and towards young people that want to make a change for things that are going to affect them.

Now specifically what sort of actions are you looking at.

If you looked at the green new deal that's been proposed as a resolution by Democrats both in the Senate and the House of Representatives that's actually one of our main points that we really want elected officials to support the Green New Deal or something at that same scale like the bold legislation. I feel like incrementalism isn't enough. At this point and we really need something that's going to address all aspects of climate change.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein made some news last week. She'd been a champion of climate policy for several decades but she kind of tangled with some young people did you have to see that news clipping. Oh yeah. And of course what happened was she said You're pushing too hard the Green New Deal is too much it's too drastic. I know what I'm talking about I've been here a long time. What was your reaction to seeing a veteran politician talk like that.

Well I was really angry but at the same time I wasn't as shocked just because you know she's not going to be one of the people that deals with the extreme consequences of climate change.

She's 85 years old.

Yeah and I just think that like I said incrementalism isn't going to do it at this point. And we need more. And what she was saying how. Oh well we need to go step by step. That's that could have been done a long time ago. But like that the point that we're at now that's just not going to cut it.

So tell me a little bit about the program tomorrow. What's what. What are the speakers and what's the what's on the agenda.

So basically we're going to start off a meeting at Hilltop high school at 9 a.m. and then we're gonna march to city hall together and then the strike officially starts at 10:00 a.m. and then we're basically you're gonna have speakers that address different aspects of climate change so we're gonna have someone talk about environmental justice or like the Green New Deal or even just our mission in general including students and non youth allies. We have about 80 people signed up but at the same time we've been promoting it a lot more like passing out flyers and other organizations are promoting it on their social media.

So they told us just expect that like maybe a hundred.

All right well we'll see what happens there. And then what impact do you think the message will have.

I think that because there's so many students striking across the nation I think it is gonna create a really strong message that you know basically we're disrupting the social order so they kind of have to look at the issue and it's at least going to cause more conversation. So at the very least that. But if not then just kind of really look at the issue more in-depth and try to maybe hopefully prompt change.

All right. Well good luck Kate. Thanks for joining us today. Thank you.

That was K PBS is Mark Souder speaking with hilltop high senior Kate unchallenged. Friday's climate strike starts at 10:00 at Chula Vista City Hall.

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