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Idahoans Prepare to Join Global Climate Strike

Climate activists say the warming climate is causing an increased threat from wildfires in Idaho. (U.S. Forest Service/Flickr)
Climate activists say the warming climate is causing an increased threat from wildfires in Idaho. (U.S. Forest Service/Flickr)
September 17, 2019

BOISE, Idaho — People around the world will walk out of work and school this Friday to call for action on climate change, including many in Idaho. Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg spurred the Global Climate Strike in the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday.

Adam Thompson with the youth-led Sunrise Movement is one of the organizers of Friday's strike in Boise. He said he wants to see more Idaho cities turn toward clean energy.

"I want to see more towns in Idaho move to 100% renewable energy like Boise has done,” Thompson said. “We've seen just this year that the city of Boise has committed to moving to 100% renewable energy by 2035, and that's one of the big things that the strike is about."

The Boise strike will take place at noon on the Capitol steps. There are at least six other strikes scheduled in Idaho, including in Hailey, Moscow and Pocatello.

Thompson said local businesses in Boise are showing support for the event and businesses around the U.S. have pledged to strike. The Sunrise Movement also will be holding trainings on mobilizing behind the Green New Deal this Saturday and Sunday in Boise.

Austin Walkins, senior conservation associate with the Idaho Conservation League, said the Gem State is seeing the effects of a changing climate - such as prolonged wildfire seasons and a growth in toxic algae blooms. He said there are many ways for the state to reduce its climate impact, echoing Thompson's call to clean up the energy grid and noting that changes in transportation are necessary since that sector is the state's largest contributor of greenhouse gases.

He commended young people for leading the charge on climate action.

"A lot of things we've seen over the past few years have been really driven by younger and younger generations, and I think that's a really positive thing, you know,” Walk-ins said. “These young leaders are stepping up and getting engaged, and I think that's kind of challenging older generations to say, 'Hey, I need to step up and do my part as well.'"

There are more than 3,400 strikes planned in 120 countries around the world. Organizers also plan to strike on September 27.

Disclosure: Idaho Conservation League contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID