On Earth Day, our actions started when 350NH’s Youth Team was on NHPR’s morning radio show “The Exchange.” They talked answered the question: “How has the pandemic changed your climate activism?” Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, our youth team was planning climate strikes in their towns and preparing for a sit-in at Governor Sununu’s office. They were hoping to call on our governor and elected officials to sign climate legislation that meets the goals of the Green New Deal. Now, with the pandemic leaving millions of people unemployed, their activism isn’t stopping.
“Climate activism is the one thing I do have control over and the one thing that’s remaining constant right now,” said Kai Parlett, a high school 350NH Youth Fellow from Randolph: “The climate crisis doesn’t stop just because the world is imploding from another crisis. We’re still seeing fossil fuel pollution and fracking and the Granite Bridge pipeline [proposal from Liberty Utilities]. None of that stops because of the coronavirus, which should also mean that we shouldn’t stop fighting those things.” Ruby Carr, a 350NH Youth Fellow from Nottingham, agrees: “Climate activism is kind of the one thing I do have control over and the one thing that’s remaining constant right now. It feels nice to be able to work on fixing something, because obviously you can’t activism away a virus.”
The pandemic has affected everyone in New Hampshire in some way from finishing out the school year online to losing jobs. When thinking about federal and state level policy that could help us all recover, the 350NH Youth Team agrees that both the COVID-19 crisis and the climate crisis can be addressed within the framework of a Green New Deal. Lilly Tague-Bleau, 350NH Youth Fellow from Manchester said “We’re doing the best we can for this pandemic with what we have…but with climate, we do have solutions. We have a Green New Deal.” The Green New Deal, a resolution introduced in Congress in 2018, set goals to combat the climate crisis and create millions of good jobs in the process. These jobs could put the millions of unemployed people in our country back to work.
Shannon Jackson, a 350NH fellow from Nottingham said “I know a lot of people had doubts about how sweeping climate legislation like the Green New Deal could be implemented. Seeing the government’s response to the coronavirus has solidified, at least in my mind, that we can definitely do this – it’s just that people are choosing not to. We can definitely take trillions of dollars out of seemingly nowhere, and that just solidifies my convictions.”
After the morning radio show, 350NH encouraged people to join Earth Day Live – a 3 day livestream on social media featuring dozens of climate activists from around the country, addressing various climate-related topics and calling people to take action at home. 350NH Sent over 150 letters to our state senators asking them to support a People’s Bailout and prevent the fossil fuel industry from getting a huge bailout in federal stimulus packages. We posted dozens of pictures on social media with #NHClimateTakeover, sharing our home-made climate strike art and talking about how COVID-19 has changed the way we think about the climate crisis.
We will continue to fight for climate justice, especially now. Sign up on our homepage to learn more and get involved!