Climate Groups: It's Not Just Earth Day Anymore — It's Earth Crisis Day
April 22 is Earth Day, but a coalition of climate groups gathered outside City Hall in downtown L.A. on Friday to declare it Earth Crisis Day instead.
That’s because the next few years are critical for climate action. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading authority on climate science, recently released a report saying global emissions need to be cut in half by 2030 to avoid the worst impacts, like sea level rise and deadly heat that could displace millions.
From Pasadena to Long Beach, activists came together on Friday to try to inspire more Angelenos to get involved with the climate movement — and contradict the greenwashing and consumerism they see as marring the original point of Earth Day.
“A lot of corporations take advantage of this day, ‘Oh, just buy this product it’ll fix the environment’ and we know that consumerism and capitalism cannot get us through this crisis,” said Kyler Chin, an 18-year-old activist with Youth Climate Strike LA.
He said the only paths to a just and livable future are creating jobs in clean energy, faster and bolder action from the government, and ending our reliance on fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.
The event brought together a diverse range of people who care about the climate crisis, from animal rights activists to veterans.
Samantha Davila manned a table to collect signatures for Healthy Streets LA, a ballot measure that would require the City of L.A. to implement the rest of its Mobility Plan 2035, which requires any street repaving project to also improve bus and bike lanes as well as sidewalks. She said that since the plan was passed in 2015, the city has only completed 95 miles out of 3,137 miles planned.
“It gives people a different option other than just getting in your car,” Davila said. “Some places don’t have sidewalks, some places don’t have bike lanes. It’ll help reduce pollution. I know it’s a long journey, but I feel like little steps can get us there.”
Louis Raprager, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, came from Long Beach to represent the Orange County chapter of the group Veterans for Peace.
“The military is one of the largest polluters out there,” Raprager said. “It’s time that the military is held responsible.”
His group is working to pass a bill in Congress that would require the military to track and disclose its greenhouse gas emissions.
The event had a variety of speakers and kept things fun with a brass band. After all, today’s not only a day to highlight the climate emergency — it’s also a day to celebrate all Earth gives us, and why she’s so worth protecting.