UW Green Bay professor talks climate strikes, need for change

Local News

The topic on many minds Friday: climate change.

Millions marched around the world on a day of climate protests, including here at home.

The strikes were created for students, a day to demonstrate the need for action to be taken toward climate change efforts.

“We have to channel anger peacefully and through peaceful action and that’s why I’m here,” says Lawrence University junior Jim Yang. “And that’s why I’m glad that the youth have organized this.”

Those who have made careers studying the environment hope the government will recognize the need for change to protect the Earth.

“The federal government right now is actually not only denying climate science, but rolling back regulations on methane which is a powerful greenhouse gas, much more damaging even than carbon dioxide,” says UW Green Bay professor David Voelker.

16-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden began “Fridays for Future” demonstrations last year, urging world leaders to step up their efforts against climate change.

That sentiment can be seen here in Northeast Wisconsin.

“We really want to raise awareness and tell the people that are making decisions on our behalf, which are our elected officials, that people want them to address climate change,” says Andi Rich, organizer for the Green Bay climate change protests. “Climate change is real and we are tired of the inaction.”

“We have to make policy changes,” says Voelker. “The governments not only in the United States, but around the world are going to have to make agreements to reduce carbon emissions and methane emissions and that’s really just getting to the start of the problem.”

According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, climate change has made record-breaking heat temperature records twice as likely over the past two decades in the contiguous United States.

Thunberg is expected to participate in a United Nations youth climate summit Saturday and speak at the U.N. climate action summit with global leaders Monday.

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