On Sept. 20, thousands of Americans will walk out of their places of work to demand action from political leaders about the climate crisis, including in St. Petersburg. Scubi Jew club leaders are rounding up students and faculty of Eckerd to join this call for action as co-sponsors for the event.
“It began with Greta Thunberg, who is a climate activist. She has been doing these calls to actions and strikes in Europe that have been really successful. And so she put out a call to the world that on Sept. 20 we should all come together and do a climate strike,” Scubi Jew President Melissa Pielet said.
Scubi Jew hosted a meeting on Tuesday, Sept 17 to make posters for the strike.
“We're going to be making posters and talking about the climate strike, and also talk about Scubi Jew and what events we’ll be doing for students it's kind of a two fold event,” Pielet said.
They encouraged everyone to come on Tuesday to make a poster, and now tell everyone to come to the strike on Sept. 20 outside of City Hall in downtown St. Petersburg. The club also organized carpooling to drive students downtown for the event.
“We want to make it the biggest turn out as possible,” Pielet said. “To have professors and students standing side by side I think it could be really powerful.”
Many local organizations in St. Petersburg are sponsoring the event, including Florida Suncoast Sierra Club, Tampa Bay Watch, Greenpeace St. Pete, NextGen Florida, among others. There will be a short march in front of city hall area to catch the attention of government officials.
“It's also a great way to kind of see all these environmental groups of St. Pete and see what they're doing. And just to take action and about something you're passionate about. I’m hoping all of these numbers will make a big statement,” Pielet said.
This event is very important for Pielet personally. She told a story about how she was looking through her old things at her parents’ house and found something special: an assignment from when she was in kindergarten or first grade.
“It said when I grow up, I want to stop climate change and save all animals in my little handwriting,” Pielet said. “I thought that was so cool. That’s something I’m working toward.”
Pielet will be speaking to everyone that attends the strike at 11:30 a.m. on Friday morning as the voice of the event. A student from University of South Florida St. Petersburg and Mayor Rick Kriseman will also be speaking.
In terms of actual change, climate strikers are hoping to see more government officials take the climate crisis seriously, including legislation like the Green New Deal and reduction of fossil fuels that could mitigate some of the effects humans have on the climate.
“What's really important is getting government to see that care, and then adopting a policy that reflects that,” Pielet said.
This event is aimed for members of Scubi Jew and other Eckerd environmentalists to take action regarding the climate crisis.