Daniel Cochran, 6, of Norway holds a sign high at the Global Climate Strike in Norway on Friday, Sept. 20. Dee Menear/Advertiser Democrat Buy this Photo

NORWAY — “Climate! Action! Now!”

The message was heard loud a clear Friday, Sept. 20, from Longley Square as more than 100 people gathered for regional participation in the Global Climate Strike.

The movement began with Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden who began skipping school every Friday to protest in front of the Swedish Parliament. These school strikes grew into the Global Climate Strike, a worldwide call for young activists to take to the streets on Sept. 20 to demand immediate action on climate change.

More than 6,000 climate strikes in 150 countries were scheduled last week, including more than 500 in the U.S. and 21 in Maine.

“This is the biggest day of climate action in history and it’s entirely organized by youth,” said Scott Vlaun, executive director for the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy (CEBE). “Youth are getting sick of my generation not going anything about the climate.”

Karle Woods, recently named to lead the Maine Youth for Climate Justice, was the driving force in bringing the strike, hosted by CEBE, to Norway.

Karlë Woods of the Center for Ecology-Based Economy and Maine Youth for Climate Justice was a driving force in bringing the Global Climate Strike to Longley Square on Friday, Sept. 20. Dee Menear/Advertiser Democrat Buy this Photo

Woods said the Western Foothills of Maine is one of the fastest-warming regions in New England.

“Enough is enough,” she said. “This is a bigger issue than one small town is responsible for. It’s time to build a renewable energy economy that works for everyone. It’s time to demand a plan from our local government. We need to keep moving toward a positive climate future.”

The event started off with speeches, music and interpretive dance followed by a sidewalk strike.

Signs declaring “Our house is on fire”, “The climate is changing, we need to change, too”, and “We’re in a climate of change” were held high by participants of all ages.

“I think we need urgency now,” said Mariel Geiger of Norway. “People need to be aware of how critical the timing is for climate change.”

As he waved a sign calling for “Action now for our future”, 11-year-old Kohnor Berube of Norway said, “This is important because I don’t want the Earth to go extinct.”

Community members gather at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Noway prior to the Global Climate Strike at Longley Square on Friday, Sept. 20. Dee Menear/Advertiser Democrat Buy this Photo

Prior to the event, a handful of community members gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Noway to reflect on the Earth with reverence and gratitude.

“Without a healthy planet, we can’t live healthy lives,” said Kerry Read of Paris.

On Monday, Sept. 23, Governor Janet Mills stood before the United Nations General Assembly and challenged leaders to take action against climate change.

“We all have what it takes to combat climate change, to protect the irreplaceable earth we share and care for,” Mills said. “What is more precious than water, air, soil, the health and happiness of our children and our children’s children and yours? For all of them, today, by Executive Order, I am pledging that Maine will be carbon neutral by 2045.”

Members of Nevaeh Dance Circus and House Lorax perform an interpretive dance Friday, Sept 20, at the Global Climate Strike in Norway. Dee Menear/Advertiser Democrat Buy this Photo

According to Merriam-Webster kakistocracy is a government by the worst people. Dee Menear/Advertiser Democrat Buy this Photo

 


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