Los Alamos High School Eco Club Members Hold Climate Strike

Los Alamos High School Eco Club co-president Addy Witt speaks Thursday at Ashley Pond Pavilion during a Climate Strike held by the Club. Courtesy photo

LAHS Eco Club co-president Dana Roelofs speaks at Thursday’s Climate Strike. Courtesy photo

Participants in Thursday’s LAHS Eco Club Climate Strike wave their signs a passers by. Courtesy photo

LAHS Eco Club members cross Canyon Road during Thursday’s Climate Strike. Courtesy photo

LAHS Eco Club members march with their signs during their Climate Strike Thursday. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos HIgh School Eco Clu

On Thursday night, the Los Alamos High School Eco Club had a successful climate strike during which they achieved their goal of getting the attention of community members and spreading awareness about the urgency necessary to solve the climate crisis. 

Among the participants were: Sam Grow, Dana Roelofs, Titus De Jong, Nina Johnson, Addy Witt, Charlotte Butcher, and Sophie Bathrick-Price, Heidi Johnson, Kelsey Hannaford, Traeh Amburgey, Alex Moulton, Sadie Evans, Mikalh Adams, Jane and William Hite, and Anna Batista and Sebastian Holtkamp.

First, the club presidents gave speeches on the Ashley Pond stage. Here is the speech Addy Witt gave:

“We are striking today, giving up our evening routines, to reinforce the urgency which the climate crisis demands and which we as a nation, state, county, and world are not giving it.

We want to acknowledge the work being done in Los Alamos county and New Mexico to address climate change by making gradual changes and setting goals for carbon neutrality. While we are grateful for the changes happening, we are striking today to demand more. We are in a state of a climate emergency and it needs to be treated as such.

The current goal of the Board of Public Utilities in Los Alamos County, according to Future Energy Resource Reports, is for the Department of Public Utilities “to be a carbon neutral electric provider by 2040.”

By 2040, I will be 36 years old – more than twice my current age. Up to 150 species are going extinct every day, extreme weather events are becoming more and more frequent, arctic sea ice is rapidly diminishing, and you are dragging out a vague goal of carbon neutrality to be reached in another 20 years?

We demand more urgency than the county’s current promises to “study and recommend” future clean energy and distribution policies. We demand present and current action. Like the climate activist Great Thunberg has said many times: we want you to panic. We want you to act as if our house is on fire, because it is.”

And here is the speech Dana Roelofs gave:

“As the Eco Club at the high school, the thing we’re trying to focus on is education about climate change, in the sense that in school, we don’t get to learn anything.

We don’t have a good recycling program, we don’t have a compost. We aren’t told about climate change, we aren’t educated about climate change, and that’s what Eco Club is trying to do at the high school, we’re trying to get the word out. Us young people have to know there is a problem to even work to solve that problem.

So, the most important goal we are trying to achieve today is to have people our age, younger people, to be aware of this problem so we can do things to change it.

I was trying to look up what our recycling policy is at the school board level, and I couldn’t find anything – we currently don’t have a recycling program at the school. We only have recycling once every two weeks. Recycling is diminishing in our community and in our school systems. 

We don’t have access to the tools necessary to save our environment. As students, we need to be given access to these things, and that is exactly what we are demanding from the school board. Remember when you are voting in these school board elections to vote for people that are going to be willing to give us the access to the education and resources needed to provide for change.

We need to be given these resources and we need to have these conversations with people our age. We want to be educated about climate change so we can start doing things about it.”

After giving speeches, the club marched from the pond to the high school and back with their signs, yelling phrases such as “there is no planet B,” “solution not pollution,” and “no more coal, no more oil, keep your carbon in the soil.” The club plans on holding more strikes in the next couple of months.