This is what Democracy Looks Like!

On Friday, the 6th of December, students from all over Massachusetts gathered in Copley Square in Boston to push for a Green New Deal. Most of the strikers skipped school to attend the protest, however, because there was a professional development day at MHS, students from Marblehead were able to attend without missing the school day. The date was chosen to be the same time as a climate conference for the UN in Madrid, where Greta Thunberg led a march. Hundreds of people attended and made their way from Copley Square, through Boston Commons, and to the steps of the State House to demand the elimination of the use of fossil fuels and the declaration of a climate emergency. One particular bill that people want is one that requires the state to get all of its energy from renewable sources by 2045. Many people have been frustrated because bills like this one haven’t been going anywhere in Massachusetts but are being passed in other states. Students went on strike in other cities across the country in places like Colorado, California, and Iowa with the Sunrise Movement, which is led by young people in the U.S. with the goal of causing political action to end climate change. As protesters gathered in Copley Square, Senator Ed Markey spoke about the Green New Deal and how Massachusetts must set an example for other states by taking climate action. Once the march started, students began to chant things like: “Show us what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!” and “Get up. Get down. Keep the fossil fuels in the ground!” After entering the State House, people wanted to speak with Governor Baker and chanted at his door. When they refused to leave, 27 people were arrested and must appear in Boston Municipal Court in the coming week. 

How can we help?

Although our climate conditions are severe and we have caused decades of damage, it is not too late for our generation to take action.  There are many steps we need to take to do this. An extremely important part of preventing more climate change is regulating our fossil fuel consumption. This is a major challenge because with many of the possible solutions come other problems. For example, nuclear power would be an excellent solution to decreasing people’s greenhouse gas consumption if it weren’t for the dangerous nuclear waste that it emits.  However, we can still do a massive amount of help by using less plastic, investing in wind power and solar power, taking shorter showers, turning off the lights when we aren’t using them, not buying fast fashion, etc. Public transportation is also a great solution. When commuting, it is a great idea to take a bus or train because it reduces the number of cars being used and therefore prevents carbon dioxide from entering our atmosphere. Instead of getting driven to school everyday, try to walk, bike, take the bus, or get a ride from a friend. Though large-scale political action is necessary, doing little things certainly helps.

Alison Buxbaum

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