Campus News News

Protect the Planet

Collin Atwood

A Global Climate Strike, which involved over 150 countries, took place last Friday, Sept. 20. An estimated four million people participated in this strike across the world. It is said to have been the largest climate protest in history. All of these people were led by a Swedish climate activist named Greta Thunberg, who is just 16 years old.

“Climate change is not a lie, do not let our planet die!” was one of the many chants that were shouted at Springfield College during its very own Climate Change action. On Friday, students and faculty got together to protest climate change in front of the Union from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During this strike, the Union was nearly impossible to enter because the area around it was flooded with students screaming catchy chants and holding up witty signs saying, “The Future Is Green, The Future Is Now,” “Go Green, There Is No Planet B,” and “Human Change, Not Climate Change.” The majority of the signs had green and a drawing of Earth incorporated in them.

There are various students on campus who feel very strongly about climate change and what its doing to our planet. 

“This is the future we are building by not taking action to fix the climate, and this is not the future I want for my niece to grow up in. So I will not stand by and let this happen. Instead, I will fight,” said Willow Mennone, a junior at Springfield College who was the lead for this strike and a member of SEED (Science Embracing Equality and Diversity).

“We pretend the Earth isn’t dying. We pretend by not talking about it or dealing with it,” she added. 

Mennone wants people to be aware that climate change is very real and very dangerous. The more people that accept this, the more people will be willing to fight it. 

“This planet is dying, and we only get one planet — there isn’t a backup,” she said. 

Even though people are not happy about what climate change is doing to Earth, the leaders on Friday were happy to spread information about this problem and help people realize they can do something about it. The students and faculty at Springfield College were enthusiastic about getting the word out there about climate change.

Robert Gruber, a professor at Springfield College who focuses on environmental ethics and philosophy, was one of the faculty members who helped run the event. He had his class help out with the strike as well. He said that a lot of his students had never talked about climate change in the past and he wanted to help make them aware. 

“We spent a couple weeks talking about the climate science and what’s happening with our planet and how serious it is, and I think students are blown away by it,” Gruber said. “My hope for this event is that more people kind of understand what’s going on and are hopefully inspired to think about doing something.”

The main take away from this event is to just be aware. Everyone should know about climate change and the damage it is doing to the planet. 

“At this institution, the first thing to do is educate so people actually know how serious this issue is,” said Gruber.

Katherine Strain, the President of the Environmental Science Club, is very knowledgeable on what this issue is going to bring. 

“We’re going to have really hard storms and we’re going to need to prepare for those,” Strain said. “I just want to make sure people are safe and people are doing everything they can to prevent these incidents from happening.”

Photo Courtesy Springfield College Marketing & Communications

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