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ND Strike: Youths are 'Adults in the Room' on Climate Change

The 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg began "Fridays for Future" climate strikes in August 2018. (Nicola/Adobe Stock)
The 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg began "Fridays for Future" climate strikes in August 2018. (Nicola/Adobe Stock)
September 19, 2019

FARGO, N.D. – People demanding action on climate change are walking out of school and work on Friday in Fargo and around the world.

Global Climate Strike events are scheduled to take place in 150 countries.

Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg began school strikes known as "Fridays for Future" a year ago, and this week's events are youth-led.

Fargo Climate Strike coordinator Zac Echola says demands for climate action largely have become the responsibility of young people.

"I think it's frustrating to me that youths have to be the adults in the room,” he states. “This isn't like it snuck up on us, right? This is 30 years of warnings over and over and over again."

Strikers plan to meet outside Fargo City Hall at 11 a.m.

Echola knows it's an uphill battle addressing climate change in North Dakota, one of the most oil-rich states in the country. But he says lawmakers should look at how the state can move away from fossil fuels.

"The fact that we have 35,000 oil workers in the state, but we don't have a plan to transition them into other good jobs as the rest of the world transitions away from carbon fuel – that's a problem,” he states. “That's not a plan. Our politicians in the state don't have a plan to deal with that, and it's important that we make them start working on those plans."

At least 800 strikes are scheduled across all 50 states.

Echola says Grand Forks will be holding an event next Friday, Sept. 27, in conjunction with the International Earth Strike.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ND