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Climate and Environment

Young People Rally To Demand Faster Action On Climate Crisis

Young people stand on a lawn holding signs at a rally for climate action.
Young people rally in downtown L.A. as part of the Global Youth Climate Strike on March 25, 2022.
(Erin Stone
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On Friday, young people all over the world skipped school and marched to urge leaders to take bolder action to combat the climate crisis. Outside City Hall in downtown Los Angeles, dozens of young people and their allies rallied to demand that politicians, banks and other powerful players divest from fossil fuels.

A young woman stands on a stage with a banner "Freedom From Fossil Fuels"
Paola Hoffman speaks at the Youth Climate Strike in downtown Los Angeles on March 25, 2022.
(Erin Stone

Burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas, releases carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases emissions are rapidly increasing the planet's temperature, according to scientists.

“We are the generation that’s rising up to vote and rising up to make our voices heard,” said Paola Hoffman, an organizer with Youth Climate Strike Los Angeles and a senior at Archer School for Girls. “And if people are claiming they’re going to be representing us in office, then they need to hear us.”

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A group of elementary schoolers who have dubbed themselves as "the Future Fighters" also took the stage.

“I am extremely shocked that our state government allows oil wells and gas drilling sites to be near homes, schools and hospitals,” said 9-year-old Madeline to cheers. “How does this make sense? It doesn’t make sense to me and I’m only in third grade.”

Last year, as COVID-19 lockdowns eased, greenhouse gas emissions reached their highest levels in recorded history. Scientists say we need to cut global emissions in half by 2030 in order to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050. The world is not on track to meet that goal, and scientists have found that every tenth of a degree increase makes extreme weather, sea level rise, and climate impacts on humans and nature worse.

The rally came at the tail end of an abnormal spring heat wave in the Southland, a telltale sign of how humans are changing the climate.

And that comes after the driest January and February on record pushing reservoir levels to alarming lows and forcing water officials to tighten the nozzle on water deliveries.

The young people at Friday’s rally passionately expressed the urgent need to cut emissions more quickly to protect their, and all of our, futures.