KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Millions of people around the globe took part in the week-long Global Climate Strike that began Friday.
Massive marches, largely comprised of young people, happened in countries from Australia to Uganda.
Following in the footsteps of Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg, who ignited a young people’s global movement to combat climate change, hundreds of students marched through the University of Tennessee’s campus promoting environmental action in Knoxville.
“Individuals can make a difference and a lot of people try to say that we can’t, yes the big problems are fossil fuels and consumption, just a lot of CO2 in the atmosphere, all of that, but individuals have an impact on that and we have influence with our legislators,” said Kendall Wimberley who helped organize the march in Knoxville. “We can be the people to say – this needs to be done and I’m going to keep demanding it until I see a change.”
Many marchers saying those who deny the existence of climate change are choosing to ignore the facts.
“They are going to run out of that soon because we are already seeing more fires globally, we’re seeing flooding happen, we’re seeing hurricanes that are worse, we’re seeing El Niño more often, we are not seeing evidence that this is not related to human influence or evidence that it is not happening,” said Wimberly. “It is going to continually be present and get worse especially if we don’t start making actions to reverse it.”
One marcher believing the work is not only an individual task but one that needs to be put on larger corporations that produce the vast majority of carbon usage around the world and then using the power of millions of voices as one to create change.
“When we really think about what’s important in this world… the people around us, the relationships we’ve built, those are the things that are going to be ruined by this and we need to look at that now so we bring the most hope that we can in the future,” said Maya Bian.