On Jan. 24, I attended a rousing, youth-led rally to urge state action on climate change. Youth participated from eight different area schools at all levels, primary to college. I was proud that eight students were present from my hometown.

The purpose of the rally was to celebrate the presentation of official petitions directed to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for enforcement of the 2003 law that requires our state to eliminate “any dangerous threat to our climate.”

Nine young people spoke of their most personal concerns about our climate. They also stressed that youth did not create this climate problem, and yet they will be the primary victims. They declared this unacceptable. They are building a youth movement that is joining with adult allies to put a stop to it.

The petition contains 23 pages of practical, science- and economics-based remedies that would reduce Maine’s climate emissions by 8 percent per year. After the rally, a delegation of young and old delivered the petitions to the DEP’s southern Maine office on Canco Road in Portland.

I wish to point out that Maine Public Radio was the only media outlet that covered the event, though all were amply informed. Maine Public Radio conducted several excellent interviews with youthful participants. Youth were dismayed at being ignored by the others. Young activists know all too well how adult institutions are failing them.

Let’s not create another generation of cynics. Maine’s media and the DEP must acknowledge and respect climate science and the rights of our youth to a healthy climate and a future quality of life sufficient for well-being and happiness.

Charles Spanger


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: