Atlanta Youth Demand Climate Action Now

by Gloria Tatum

Most politicians are doing nothing about the climate crisis, while others like President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are climate deniers.

So children are forced to lead the way because our institutions and governments have failed them. 

Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg started school walkouts to raise awareness of the climate crisis.   Her actions inspired millions of school children around the world to walk out of school every Friday.   Children are protesting the climate crisis to force adults and politicians to listen to the scientists and take action to stop climate change. 

September 20th was the beginning of a Global Climate Strike that will run through September 27th. 

On Friday, September 20th, schoolchildren in over 150 countries walked out of school, and worldwide over four million children and adults participated in the climate strike. 

“The idea that this [climate strike] is kid-driven is unbelievable.  I love kids and I’m concerned about what is happening,” Jane Harsch, a 92-year old grandmother, told Streets of Atlanta. 

In Atlanta, over a thousand people came to the state capitol to rally and to demand Georgia representatives take action on the climate crisis. 

Many young people believe there is no reason to study when they don’t have a future.  Children held signs that read “You’ll Die of Old Age, We’ll Die of Climate Change.” “All My Friends Will Die,” “Our Planet is on Fire,” “There is No Planet B.” 

On the capitol steps, young people told their stories of fear and hope for the future.   

Zeena Abdulkarim, a co-director of Zero Hour Georgia, led the rally by demanding that Georgia representatives take climate action now.  “ I will be damned if I let world leaders, who have proven their lack of regard for my future and for my generation’s future…determine whether we live or die.  We will not let the government strip us of our right to live.”  

Two young women, with Atlanta for the Planet, worked with the Sierra Club to get Georgia Power to have more renewable energy resources, and they lobby their representatives to encourage change. 

“If we work together, we can change the future so we can have a future,” Tina with Atlanta for the Planet said.

The youth of American know that climate change is real because they believe the scientists, unlike Congress where many don’t understand the science behind climate change.  Mainly Republicans believe to support climate change will hurt their chance of reelection because their constituents don’t believe in climate change.

These young people have a lot of work to do to educate adults, but they are up to the job and already functioning on a professional level.

“We are experiencing food shortages and poor air quality because power is in the hands of the wrong people – corrupt politicians and greedy corporations.  But we are striking to remind us that the power is actually in our hands,” Kailen Kim, a co-director of Zero Hour Georgia, said and added the importance for everyone to vote. 

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Testa from Cumming, Georgia is a sustainability advocate, international speaker, eco-warrior and founder of 

Testa talked about the manifestations of climate change that we are seeing and experiencing. These include record heat waves, floods, droughts, crop failure, more category five hurricanes, more destructive wildfires, areas going underwater that have never been underwater before, glaciers melting, and coral reefs decreasing.  

She predicted that if we continue on this path there will be worldwide famine, drinking water contamination, displacement of coastal communities, climate migration, destruction to entire ecosystems, and a rise in wars for food and water. 

 “This sounds like a nightmare from a Sci-fi film, but it’s all real and it’s happening now,” Testa said.

“We should not have to fight our own government to protect our planet.  The fate of our planet is in our hands, we are the last best hope for the Earth,” Testa said.

Another speaker Misty Novitch, a social and environmental organizer, encouraged everyone to read the Green New Deal and to creatively communicate it to everyone else.    She also encouraged everyone to read “Plan B” that describes how millions of people will be without food, water or shelter, and cities will be underwater like Miami and New York.

“We can’t rely on our leaders, we can only rely on ourselves.  I believe in the people.” Novitch said.   

Margaret Ashton, a senior at Berry College warned, “we can’t continue to consume animal products at the current rate….please transition to a plant-based diet,” Ashton said. 

Cows release methane when they burp or fart which is a greenhouse gas that traps heat.  

A single cow releases 70 to 120 kgs of methane per year.    Worldwide there are approximately 1.5 billion cows emitting methane.  Methane is 23 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. In the atmosphere methane gradually transforms into carbon dioxide, according to 

“The authorities want to make a quick buck selling you cancer and pollution…they don’t care about you…so please don’t eat that hamburger,” Ashton said.

This year’s Global Climate Strike was the third in a worldwide series of climate rallies organized by school students. 

Atlanta’s next Climate Strike will be Friday, September 27.   Be at the Buckhead MARTA station at 10 am for an all-day non-violent strike in rebellion against the government for criminal inaction in the face of climate catastrophe and ecological collapse.  Get involved and be there. 

To watch Judy Conder’s video of the Atlanta Youth Climate Strike, go to Georgia Grassroots Video Youtube channel ( or click on the link below.

4 thoughts on “Atlanta Youth Demand Climate Action Now

  1. Thx for the report and the great grassroots video, as I could not get close enough to make out what the speakers were saying during the rally at the Capitol. I was only able to hear the enthusiastic kids – and I mean “kids”, from 4 to 12 – at Liberty Plaza earlier. Most were not shy in getting on the bullhorn, often expressing the most poignant sentiments about what was at stake… why they loved the earth, that this was their home, or more simply “I just want to be happy” – reasons why they were there, with the 12 yr. old at the end crying out “enough is enough!” It was gratifying that there was a strong reception from the crowd, old and young, to RefuseFascism’s call that the “Trump/Pence Regime Must Go – Now!” I have fwd your report & video to the local chapter, esp of interest to those who were in D.C., where I’ve watched some of what happened there on twitter at

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Students lead climate change protest in Atlanta

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    | | | | Students lead climate change protest in Atlanta

    Students and activists rallied outside of the Georgia state capitol in Atlanta, calling for lawmakers to take dr… |



    just saw this, gloria


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