A Delaware Hayes High School freshman organized a protest against climate change Monday.
Briona Mumper said she put the wheels in motion for the short march down Sandusky Street in downtown Delaware Monday afternoon as a peaceful way to protest inaction on climate change. She said it was her attempt at making sure her voice is heard on the matter.
“I am organizing this protest because, to put it simply, no one else will,” Mumper said in an email Saturday. “Delaware tends to be very politically inactive. Our best efforts involving just putting out yard signs. I don’t want to have to drive all the way to Columbus any time I want to take part in a protest, and protesting is just about the only way I can get my voice heard, as I am underage and cannot vote.”
The protest comes on the heels of demonstrations throughout the world Friday that 350.org, one of the organizers of the event, said was attended by 4 million protesters internationally.
“Climate change really should be an important topic to everyone,” Mumper said. “The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998. We’ve seen hurricanes, wildfires, and flooding get more and more extreme just during my lifetime. This is a huge issue. It impacts all of us, whether we accept it or not. And it’s just going to get worse. By the time I’m in college, studies say climate change will have become irreversible — unless we do something about it now. Glaciers are melting. Species are going extinct. People are already dying due to weather worsened by climate change. We need to at least try and stop it before it’s too late.”
Mumper said she hopes the protest raises awareness on a local level.
“All I really want to accomplish with this protest is to help raise awareness,” Mumper said. “Climate change is a huge issue, and so many people all over the world remain ignorant about it. A good portion of Americans, some of whom I know personally, still deny its existence, despite 97% of scientists and 100% of the facts assuring us that it is real. I want to encourage people to learn about it, to do research and educate themselves through the science, not through the warped opinions of politicians. I want people to learn about climate change and get angry about climate change, and then seek to change it. I want people to vote while taking the issue of climate change into consideration. We can’t elect people who are in debt to the companies that have caused so many of our problems. We need the people to elect a person who will do something about this issue, not someone who will repeatedly tell the public that it does not exist.”