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SLO County to participate in second global climate strike

Posted at 6:41 AM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 14:16:53-04

The second of two global climate strikes is set to take place Friday, including rallies in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.

The day of action follows a climate march last Friday, which drew out hundreds of thousands of activists young and old from across 150 countries, all united in one cause.

"It's a show of support for climate solutions," Quinn Brady, an organizer of the San Luis Obispo County climate strike, said. "But we're not just talking about it, we are introducing real way and actions, meaningful steps people can take."

Brady said this latest rally is riding the momentum of passion stirred last Friday and by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

"Entire ecosystems are collapsing, we are in the beginning of a mass extinction." Thunberg had said earlier this week in an impassioned speech to congressional leaders.

Thunberg urged U.S. lawmakers to take action on climate change.

"All you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth, how dare you," Thunberg said.

The coalition of San Luis Obispo County organizations is asking the County Board of Supervisors to take the Sunrise Movement's "No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge" and to vote in favor of Community Choice Energy. Strikers are also calling for Gov. Newsom to shift California from fossil fuel production to clean and renewable energy.

Activists with SLO County Youth for Environmental Action, SLO Climate Coalition, and SLO Women's March plan to rally alongside San Luis Obispo County students.

"There's nothing like life experience to educate a young person and showing up to advocate for what they truly believe in, there's nothing more important," Brady said. "We can't teach that within the walls of a school building."

Unlike last week's rally, the latest march will not overlap with school hours. But even if students can't make it, Brady said she wants young people to know they can still be involved.

"Encouraging young people to run for office is a big piece of what we're doing but also asking them to show up in City Council chambers, in County Board of Supervisors meetings and really seek and ask for change," Brady said.

Brady said she and other local climate activists are pushing for more electric transportation and buildings in the county. A recent San Luis Obispo City Council decision to cease use of natural gas in new residential and commercial buildings has proved controversial over the higher costs associated with electric.

The SLO County climate strike starts at 5 p.m. with a rally and march located outside the courthouse on Monterey Street. Rallies are also taking place in Santa Barbara at 11:30 a.m. and in Santa Maria at 6 p.m.