Climate March to President Biden’s

Brooke Harrison, Copy Editor

On September 28, 2021, some members of the Upper School participated in a walk to President Biden’s house, in support of a $1.2 trillion bill that would fund public works in order to cut climate emissions. According to the Washington Post, the Democrats in the Senate proposed an even bigger bill: a $3.5 trillion bill in support of more programs for cleaning up power plants and cars. 

One of the main organizers of the walk was history teacher Javier Ergueta. When asked about the main goal or purpose of the walk, he responded, “The main goal was to communicate (to Pres. Biden and Congress, but also to each other) that people in Delaware care about the climate and want strong action taken to protect the life we know.  “All it takes for evil to win is for good men to do nothing”. Clearly, people in Delaware care about climate, especially students who are watching our planet constantly rise in temperature each year. 

Senior Austin Sarker-Young ‘22 is one of those students who care. In a speech he gave during the march, Sarker-Young said, “I am part of a concerned global community. According to a survey of teens and young adults in ten nations (spanning every continent) reported in the UK newspaper The Guardian, some 60%, feel “very or extremely worried” about the climate crisis.  I am one of those 60%.” That percentage is over half of people in that age group. Some ways that teens bring awareness to climate change happening are attending protests, spreading awareness online, and some might even participate in a climate strike, which could include not attending school. The most famous example for the latter one is Greta Thunberg, a Swedish activist. 

Some might argue that the goal of the march might not have been achieved. While not everyone could attend, it seems like much was achieved. Mr. Ergueta said, “I think that those who participated felt strengthened and cheered in our determination to continue to do what we can in this crisis.  It’s like building muscle;  every time you use a muscle (or do the right thing) that muscle (or good habit) gets strengthened.  Don’t use it, and you lose it!” Clearly, people were left satisfied and feeling good about what was achieved.

In his speech, Sarker-Young ‘22 continued to add on why he is so worried. “I am of Bangladeshi descent. Bangladesh is a country shaped like a bowl: India’s hills to the west, Burma’s hills to the east, the Himalayas to the north, and the ocean to the south. In the middle of the bowl, hundreds of millions fill a landmass the size of New York State. Already now, every year, one fifth of the land floods, sometimes more. Already now, the starving and homeless line the streets of the capital. As the seas rise more due to climate change, what will happen to Bangladeshis?”  This isn’t just a problem with one country, it’s a problem against the whole world. 

The only solution is for us as a community to help. When asked what we can do in and out of school, Mr. Ergueta said, “First, get informed!  Sign up to receive climate news daily from the NYT or the Guardian (UK).  Because the climate is already affecting every part of our lives, there are important developments daily. Second, link up with others, as we are social animals and need solidarity.  That’s what FFF tries to provide.   The Eco Team does great work at the school level. Third, start with whatever you care about, see what climate actions could be related, and do one!  I’d be happy to advise people.” Clearly, this is doable. Sarker-Young ‘22 said, “Man-made catastrophes require man-made solutions. Thus it was in the 14th century when the Black Death spread through Eurasian trade routes: In its wake we built a new, freer world. Thus it was in the 20th century when the atom bomb was invented: We saved ourselves from Armageddon through diplomacy, and went on to raise record numbers out of poverty globally. In the same way, I hope, we will unite to overcome this crisis, and save this place, this time, and this world.” 

 With everything being said from people passionate about our Earth, keep in mind of when a protest might be occurring, or keep a lookout for petitions about a good cause. If everyone contributes and does their part, then we could achieve a local goal much quicker.