Group marches for climate change in Houghton

(Jon Jaehnig/For the Gazette) Climate Strikers walked up and down Sheldon Avenue in Houghton Friday afternoon, hoping to raise awareness of climate change and encourage voters to cast their ballots for candidates determined to take action on environmental policies.

HOUGHTON — Twenty to 30 climate strikers took to Sheldon Avenue in Houghton Friday afternoon, with chants of “No more coal, no more oil, keep the carbon in the soil,” and “hey hey, ho ho, fossil fuels have got to go.”

The walk, organized on Facebook groups for The League of Women Voters and Keweenaw Youth for Climate Action was part of a global movement called “Fridays for Future,” according to event organizers Gabriel Ahrendt and Alisa Rosky.

“We’re trying to raise awareness for climate action,” said Ahrendt.

The group is planning a similar event for Earth Day, as well as a panel on the climate to be held at Michigan Technological University. The KYCA is popular among MTU students as well as local high schools, according to event organizers. Once posted on their Facebook page, it was further promoted on other local pages.

This awareness led to the diversity of the group, which consisted of members of a wide range of ages.

“I feel that my generation dropped the ball by not leaving the world a better place,” said walker Michele Southerland. “I want my daughters and grand daughters to be able to survive on this planet.”

Some of the walkers held non-partisan signs with slogans like “There is no planet B” while others advocated for particular candidates, including Independent presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

“We need people at all levels of government to listen to the scientists,” said Southerland, citing a study that found that virtually all climate experts believe that climate change is being either caused or activated by human actions like the burning of fossil fuels.

“Climate Strikes” have become an increasingly common form of raising awareness, particularly among younger people who are not yet able to voice their concerns by voting in elections.


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