As I watch the effects of climate change arise across Maine, I’m increasingly scared for the land, culture and people I’ve called home since I could talk. We already experience shifting weather, receding marine life, the spread of Lyme-carrying ticks and increasingly dangerous storms because of climate change. Though as millions of youth, students and adults strike to demand climate action, I finally have hope.

We can’t save our futures by taking steps to reduce our individual environmental impacts. According to the nonprofit Carbon Disclosure Project, just 100 corporations are responsible for 71 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions, which can’t be stopped by individual actions. We need action on the state, national and global levels.

Our government refuses to take the action we need. Today, five years after 300,000 marched in New York City for a stable climate, our government has yet to meaningfully address this crisis.

But when we walk out of school and work to demand action, we cannot and will not be ignored. When the day-to-day functioning of society is disrupted, when governments can’t operate, our elected officials will have no choice but to tackle the crisis at hand.

By continuing to strike, we can create a future that will be worth going to school or work for. We can force the hand of our government to save potentially millions of lives around the world and prevent untold human suffering. Join us Friday at 11:30 a.m. in Portland City Hall Plaza, or noon at Brunswick Town Mall.

Ian Farm

South Portland

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