LETTER: Students in Creston are ready to join Greta Thunberg

To the Editor:

We live in a messed up world. There are so many things wrong with our civilization that anxiety, depression and fear are all on the rise. There are many reasons to be fearful: terrorism, displaced peoples seeking refuge, recessions, threats of pandemics, floods, forest fires, rising temperatures, pollution and its threat to health and continued existence, rising costs of food and shelter, shrinking glaciers and loss of sea ice. Why the mess? It seems we have been betrayed by the unfettered market forces yet again.

Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, arrived by sailboat in New York on August 27 to inspire us to unify behind the consensus of scientists everywhere, and demand that our political and corporate leaders step up to their responsibilities and declare all-out war on climate chaos.

“Our house is on fire” is Greta’s metaphor for the climate crisis. Why listen to Greta Thunberg? She began the Fridays for Future Strikes that have students everywhere protesting the government and corporate inaction on the climate crisis that is threatening widespread species extinction and food shortages as environments collapse under rising global temperatures. Now Greta is calling for a global school strike on Sept. 20 A week of climate action activities is planned for the week of Sept. 20 -27. The week of climate action is to lead to a general strike, calling on all labour to walk out and halt production on Sept.27.

One hundred years ago, the largest strike in Canadian history took place in Winnipeg. 30,000 workers walked out for six weeks because the post-war capitalist order failed to provide a living wage for its labourers. Sympathy strikes throughout Canada highlighted similar conditions elsewhere, but little changed until the 1929 stock market crash.

This crash led to a change in leadership that ushered in the New Deal in the United States. Franklin Roosevelt instituted worker rights that led to an economic recovery for the working and middle classes that continued well into the 1980s for North Americans and Europeans. Progressive Democrats in the USA are calling for a New Green Deal today. The Green Party in Canada is calling for the same.

Every day we continue with business, as usual, exacerbates the severity of increasing levels of greenhouse gases our children and their children will experience.

Our students in Creston are ready to join Greta on this coming Sept. 20 strike. Voices around the world will speak as one to bring an end to this continued madness of playing with fire. Let’s show them that we support their demands for the future. We can’t be just spectators in this confrontation against the forces of fear. Our future is in peril. Those wishing to show Creston students our support can join them on the Sept 20, at noon, across from the Dairy Queen.

Clements Verhoeven | Creston

Creston Climate Action

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