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San Diego County Students, Teachers Join In Global Climate Strike

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Students around San Diego county are participating in the Global Climate Strike on Friday by rallying and marching throughout the day.

Speaker 1: 00:00 Students from around the globe are walking out of class today for the second annual global youth climate strike here in San Diego County. Students are being joined by their supporters and calling for action to deal with the threat of climate change. We're joined by two student leaders of the walkout. Sarah Carver is the lead organizer of the walkout at San Diego state where she's a senior and Annie doe is a sophomore at Serra high school. She's taking the lead in organizing the walkout there. Welcome to you both. Thank you for having us. Yes, thank you. So what led you to get involved to devote so much time and energy to this demonstration? Sarah, let's start with you.

Speaker 2: 00:38 Yeah. So I, um, am a climate advocate on campus and that just really have pushed me to wanna do some more policy change on campus. And it really happened when Cindy go through 50 reached out and said, you know, we, we've been seeing these lockouts all over the world and we really want there to be something at the universities level in San Diego so more adults can show up and really be there for students. Any what about you? So I learned about climate change in my English class quite extensively and shout out to Mrs Homeless if you're listening to this. Um, so after learning about it, I just felt this whirlwind of emotions. I was one, I was furious with adults for letting this happen and was terrified for my own future and I felt so useless because there I was with all this knowledge and I couldn't do anything about it. And then I saw this movement of teenagers around the world who are my age doing exactly what I wasn't doing and I just felt moved to join them. And I know they are.

Speaker 1: 01:39 There's an overall list of things you all want to see happen from passing the green new deal to implementing sustainable agriculture. Are there any things that you're making specific to San Diego? Go County.

Speaker 2: 01:51 Yeah. Are, um, so on the SDSU campus we're really focusing our ass at our administration. Um, so our, one of our big asks is to create an enforced in STC green new deal, uh, to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. And that's really important. Um, because our climate action plan right now does not address the economic and racial disparities in climate action. So I think that'll have a really big impact on San Diego County as a whole when something as big as 30,000 students have to abide by that plan. Right. Andy, what, what would you like to see happen locally, locally? Um, let's go more towards a personal level. I am personally walking out because I feel like there's, there should be more of a personal call to action for this, especially a students. I see a lot of kids who don't really know what's going on and they don't care. And I want to inspire my peers to join me in this because this is all of our futures and we all, we're all directly affected by this. You'd like to see more students get engaged along in long with the members of the community because, um, we have, we're gonna have a lot of spectators that are walkouts too.

Speaker 1: 03:01 Mm. What's been the reaction of your, from your fellow students when you approached them about supporting this effort?

Speaker 2: 03:07 Yeah. At SDSU we've really got great support from our students especially we had a sign making a event on Wednesday and everyone that we talked to, it was just so excited and really ready to strike. And they're all very aware of the environmental issues and that they just really needed that catalyst to be able to exercise their civic engagement. Annie, a very similar situation with me at Sarah. Um, like I said earlier, I learned about it a lot in my classes. I'm learning about climate change a lot in my classes and um, I feel like a lot of the students were like me, we're in the same boat as me before this. They had no idea how to act on it and, or they just didn't know what they could do something at all. And so like Sarah said, this is a catalyst for them and a lot of them have been very um, enthusiastic about joining me, asking what they can do to help

Speaker 1: 03:59 as big as it is. You know, the walkout is, is just one day change will really have to come from lawmakers at all levels of government. What are you doing? Uh, and what are you urging others to do to get leaders to really take action and get involved in this?

Speaker 2: 04:15 Yeah. At SDSU we are ending our strike with a registration devote drive cause a lot of our students, our incoming freshmen who maybe have never registered, maybe didn't have the chance to register before college. So we're really pushing to get the youth engaged and vote for this climate conscious candidates. They may not have, um, the most robust climate plan, but anyone who's really willing to accept the climate science and shows an interest in our collective duty to do that is, is a climate conscious candidate. Well, very similar situation on Sarah as well. Actually we have, we're going to have a rote voter registration table because very soon high school students will be able to vote. And when we are able to, we want to support more decisions like the clean community choice energy. Um, I was just passing earlier this week and when we are able to, we're, we're definitely going to support things like that.

Speaker 1: 05:12 New York City schools are giving students an excused absence for the walkout, but most districts have made it clear they won't follow suit. What's happening in that regard here? Annie

Speaker 2: 05:22 at Sarah, that administration has been very supportive because the San Diego Unified School district has actually passed a youth climate action support resolution in which schools are officially required to allow students to walk out this Friday. And um, they actually left it quite ambiguous when it comes to personal repercussions class by class. But a majority of the teachers that Sarah have been very supportive of this and are actually planning to walk out alongside us.

Speaker 1: 05:51 Wow. You know, if, if more people want to get involved in the effort, what can they do?

Speaker 2: 05:55 Yeah. So you can come any of the climate strikes that are open to the public and you can find those, um, at climate walkout, sd.org, um, there's a lot of high schools that have opened their doors and of course universities. So we have USD and SDSU and next Friday you see climate strike. Um, so community members are 100% welcome and we really expect everyone to show up and be there for students. So Sarah, do you have any idea of how many people are walking out, uh, across San Diego? Yeah, of course. In San Diego they're at least 18 high schools and five colleges organizing actions and we really expect more that have just not registered yet. So this is at least 1500 students who are gonna participate. And that's just students. So we expect a lot more with the adults who are coming to, and then when we add a factor in the f the, the fact that this is a worldwide effort, uh, Andy, any idea of how many students are doing this across the world? Um, well, student headcount is actually really difficult because there are actually 45,000 events worldwide as this is a global climate strike in at least 137 different countries. Have you guys been able to connect with people from other schools, other countries who are taking part in this? Oh yeah. Um, my peers at San Diego, three 50, I've met with them and they're all planning events as far South as oh, ranch in as far north as Escondido. All right. Sarah, Annie, thank you so much. I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you for having us.

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Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.