On Sept. 20, hundreds of thousands of New York City youth took to the streets to join in the global climate strikes taking place all over the world. Mic stopped to ask a few of the young people in attendance why they chose to participate in the global movement, what they wanted from their leaders, and how they envisioned the future.
This is what they said.
"If we don't do anything, we're going to have irreversible damage by 2030 and I'd like to have a life. I don't know what kind of life, but I can't have a life if the Earth dies.
I want our leaders to do something. I want them to do something about the fact that our Earth is heating up, and we don't have time. We can't wait for later."
"I'm here today to show support for the strike against global warming, because it is important the youth actually does something, because the our leaders aren't doing anything whatsoever.
Hopefully my kids aren't going to be suffering from asthma or from different things that are caused because of all the global warming that's happening. So hopefully my kids and my grandkids will be healthy, but that's not going to occur if we don't do anything."
"I've never been really in the scene of talking about these issues going on in the world, but then, us young kids have so much more influence than people my father's age. So I just want to scream from my lungs, like at this point, it's dangerous and we need change now."
"The world has to change. Right now it is going at a very slow pace and we need to change that. I want our leaders to start realizing that climate change is actually real and it is happening. We do need to support the Green New Deal, and we need to make some serious changes."
Marlon, 17 and Yohannis, 17
Marlon: "This is our Earth. Climate change is a real thing. We have president who doesn't believe that, and that's kinda dumb. I know I'm just one person, but my opinion matters, so I'm here to show that I care. Climate change isn't going anywhere."
Yohannis: "This will help. We should have already done this. It should have been done, then we would have been good already. But we're out here protesting. I was happy to get out of my bed today and get outside and help out."
"This a really important issue. I feel like our Earth is going to die before I'm 50 and my children aren't going to get to enjoy it. I want our leaders to actually pay attention and care. It matters so much and they're treating it like it doesn't matter at all. If really big changes don't get made, we don't have a future, and that scares me so much."
"I don't feel like there's a point in studying at school for a future I don't have. I want our leaders to realize there's other solutions than using fossil fuels. We have the technology to be a better society and go against this changing climate, like we have so much technology we could use. And they're just refusing to do that because they're greedy and they want money. It's just not fair for me and my friends."
"I'm here because I want to live as long as the people get to be alive today. It's my world too, and all the bureaucrats and old people are fucking it up for us. It's going to be very difficult and cost a lot of money, but we need to change our energy resources.
If we get it started now, then we might be able to undo some of the damage. If we don't the world will be a desolate wasteland. And if we do, maybe it will be a world we can all live in."