Will We Kiss the Earth Goodbye

By: Patricia Holm | via the Olympian Letters to the Editor

Youth lay “dead” on the floor of Olympia City Council Chambers after giving public testimony on the urgency of climate change

I attended a climate protest in late May organized by local young people. Many of us older people turned out to support the action of these young people who will be experiencing the worst of the climate crisis. This newspaper printed a picture of the group performing a die-in at the Olympia City Council during the comment period. They were showing us (available on video of the City Council meeting) what this future will be like for them. This is their future: dying early, drought, forest fires, burning heat, lack of food, and possibly more resource wars. This is not a future any of us would want for our children.
These students showed up last year and the city council declared a climate emergency. Now the students are asking, “Where are the actions that should accompany an emergency?” Instead we read headlines like these: “The Greatest Casualty of the Ukraine War Could Be Planet Earth Itself. The world’s ruling elites have chosen to place their geopolitical rivalries above all other critical concerns, including planetary salvation.”

This is the big picture, and in our small city, what can we do? We can start implementing the climate mitigation strategies accepted already. Write letters, join the young people in calling for more action by our government representatives. The sad part of the video of the event was our mayor asking folks to just step around the young people on the floor. In other words: no emergency, it’s business as usual.

Patricia Holm, Olympia

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