University of Missouri environmental activists joined student protesters worldwide last Friday as they took part in the youth climate strike.
Campus groups, like the Mizzou Energy Action Coalition and College Democrats, joined Peaceworks and some high school students at Speaker’s Circle to talk about the importance of climate action.
Mitch Feyerherm, a student and member of the MEAC, stood at the protest with a sign that read “Divest Mizzou from fossil fuels.”
Feyerherm said that he wants to see widespread and comprehensive action in the fight against climate change.
“It is essentially the largest issue we face right now,” Feyerherm said. “It’s tied to so many other issues, the sort of ecological crisis that is humanity.”
Feyerherm said that addressing climate change also requires addressing and improving the quality of life for everyone.
The strike started with a march, then MEAC member Barb Keunsting took the microphone to read her 11 reasons to combat climate change, citing issues like rising sea levels, mass extinction and wealth inequality.
Kuensting talked about her fears for the future of the planet.
“I say create a future instead of create a better future because at this rate, we may not have a future for our children,” she said to the crowd. “I don’t even know if we will have a future. The earth has put up with us for thousands of years, but in the present day, we are stretching her too far.”
Keunsting also pointed to issues like corporate greed and capitalism as causes of climate change.
The protest looked to global issues, but it also took a local stance, looking at MU’s lack of attention to climate change.
Haley Gronniger, another MEAC member, accused the administration of failing to agree to a student-created proposal that would move the university away from coal and towards renewables.
Keunsting and many other speakers brought up the Green New Deal as a way to combat climate change, saying that investing in renewable energy would help us as well as future generations.
The plan focuses on renewable energy and is being spearheaded in Congress by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey.