Wauwatosa West Students Participate in Milwaukee Global Climate Strike

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A small number of Wauwatosa West students attended the “Global Climate Strike” in downtown Milwaukee on Friday, September 20th. 

The Global Climate Strike is an internationally coordinated 7 day strike to end Climate Change. The strikes span from September 20th to 27th and is meant to coordinate with the United Nations Climate Action Summit.  Social media reports throughout the day showed video of thousands of people marching in cities like Melbourne, Berlin and New York city.  

Wauwatosa West Junior Gaby Sweeney believes attending the Milwaukee rally is an effective way to show businesses and regulators that people care about this issue.

“We don’t have the time to hope and pray that big corporations and politicians start listening to us. We have to act now to pressure polluters and those who regulate them! I don’t want to live with the regret that I could have done something to save the environment before it was too late,” Sweeney said. 

It was unclear how many students attended the rally from Wauwatosa West, but the number appears to be less than a dozen.  According to Wauwatosa West Attendance Secretary, Sara Looker, three students called an absence stating that they would be attending the strike.  

However, Looker added that she can not always be sure why students are not in school. “I am sure there are more students that are participating in the strike but the parents say they are sick.” Looker also mentioned that student attendance rate was about average for daily operations.

Other students at Wauwatosa West, such as senior Mercedes Van Leer Machicote, are also passionate about climate change but didn’t attend the strike. Van Leer Machiote believes people don’t care about climate change until it has a direct impact upon them. 

“I definitely think that America doesn’t deal with issues until it’s too late, the situation would need to get extremely bad and nearly life threatening to make a difference,” Van Leer Machicote said. 

However, some students don’t care as much about the issue. Wauwatosa West Senior Jhamari Williams doesn’t believe people are having an impact on climate change. 

“I don’t care about the issue of Climate Change, I’m sorry. Climate change is a problem but its whatever to me. The only way climate change will get fixed is through mother nature, she is the cause of all this madness,” said Williams. 

So how are students that are passionate about this subject planning on getting their fellow students more involved and engaged in this issue?

“Well I actually posted about this on my Instagram recently and I’m trying to tell all my friends and talking about it. I’m interacting with people about it, that way there is more awareness about the problem,” said Ryan Noorlander, a senior at Wauwatosa West who attended the strike.

He also suggested Tosa West students learn from students at cross town Tosa East.

“Tosa West could actually take an example from East, they have an environmental advocacy club that organized a protest earlier today I believe. Maybe we could start something like that, or just have an advocacy media page in general. Students need to know what’s happening and get involved.”

Similarly, Sweeney strongly believes that more action should be taken to fix the problem. 

Sweeney said, “Climate change is the biggest issue of our generation. What issue could be more important in the world, when we won’t have a world left to care about anymore?”

Wauwatosa West Junior Gaby Sweeney holds climate strike sign while wearing air filter mask.