A collection of area climate change activists convened Friday in front of the Logan County Courthouse to raise awareness for what they assert is scientific evidence supporting dangerous changes in global temperatures, precipitation, an increasingly unstable envrionment and ever-dangerous weather patterns.
Citizens worldwide have an, “ethical responsibility” to address climate change, said Brad Greek, a resident of the Kiser Lake area who helped spearhead Friday’s local demonstration.
“We are attempting to energize people, and to help them understand the urgent danger of climate change,” he said.
Activists pushed for telephone and letter-writing campaigns to elected representatives, but “a perhaps more important action is to educate yourself about the facts, and then to start conversations about the global climate crisis,” said Greek, who previously taught at Indian Lake High School for 20 years.
Most everyone believes in taking care of the environment, the former educator said, adding that “there is more common ground on this issue than people realize.”
Several passing motorists waved and honked their horns in shows of support during the four-hour demonstration.
Others made their dissent known by revving truck engines, or yelling out their windows at the group of demonstrators.
“Go back to where you came from,” heckled one southbound motorist.
Each of the protesters is a resident of Logan or a surrounding county.
Another black diesel truck revved its engine and deposited a large cloud of thick, black smoke as it passed.
“We get that sometimes,” Greek said. “But most people are supportive. We get 15 honks of support for every one person like that.”
Indeed, there is no way one individual or group is going to unilaterally solve the global climate crisis, activists said. Rather, folks should put their energy towards educating themselves on the science behind climate change and raising awareness to their friends, neighbors and elected officials, they said.
“We all can do something: start conversations with others, prepare facts to answer questions, write letters to the editor or host a climate event and invite science speakers,” Greek said.
Social media shares, teach-ins and/or community tree plantings can all function as learning experiences, especially for students, activists said.
“It’s an opportunity to apply 21st Century skills to work in the real world, taking on a problem with no clear solution,” Greek said.
Friday marked the second protest of its kind in recent weeks. A similar demonstration was also staged in front of the county courthouse around the end of September.
“I will not live to see the worst impacts of (this) climate catastrophe,” Greek said. “I hope we have the strength to heed the call to action we need.”
One of the signs routinely used for these local climate demonstrations reads, “Our house is on fire.” Greek relates a story about a passing motorist who shouted “Then call the fire department,” in response to seeing that sign.
“I couldn’t reply in time, but I wanted to tell him, ‘that’s exactly what we’re trying to do,’” he said.
Local climate change activists do not consider themselves extremists, and maintain a clear-eyed perspective about their efforts.
“We’re not going to change anyone’s mind,” Greek said. “We want to raise awareness and get out the facts about a dangerously-changing climate.
“Your grandchildren’s house is on fire, and there is no planet B.”