The World Is on Fire
Writer: Aditya Joshi
Editors: Ayaan Parikh
“The world is on fire”. Bill Nye the Science Guy is absolutely correct when he states this, and we have to act right now. The New York Times reported just two days ago on June 29th that even the South Pole is warming up at an alarming rate. The warming in all parts of the world affects us right here in Wichita, Kansas, but with most of the efforts going towards large scale reform in other cities, it is important to take a closer look at initiatives in our own beautiful city.
The United States Youth Climate Strike ,“was founded on the principle that everyone deservers a safe and livable future, regardless of who they are. We are a strong grassroots movement fighting for fundamental change. [They] reject the notion that capitalism is the means to our survival and [they] encourage a creative reinvention of our future. A future free from Big Oil. A future where we end the cycle of US imperialism, and where justice is not an empty promise.” With such a strong mission, they utilize many different organizers across all 50 states to mobilize the youth with the unified goal of dismantling the current systems in America that perpetuate the destruction of our world.
One of the organizers, who is the state lead for Kansas, Jonathan Balderas is the perfect advocate for the Youth Climate Strike. He is knowledgeable of not only the national impact of climate change, but also about large companies in Wichita that are emitting large amounts of fossil fuels, namely Koch Industries. CARMA reported that Koch Industries releases about 200,000 tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide annually. This is a gargantuan amount of emissions and it shows that climate change is a large problem in our own city, not just in other cities.
KS Climate Strike works to raise awareness to these issues that are plaguing our society by hosting events/protests. One of the protests they had planned at Koch Industries was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they quickly adapted to host a panel discussion on Earth Day to discuss the issues that need to be solved regarding the climate, but also the criminal justice system.
It is evident that climate change is one of the largest issues that we have to work to combat with our voices, policies, and actions. Jonathan Balderas and the KS Youth Climate Strike is on the front lines of the issue in Kansas working to create change for the good!