LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Students across the world, including many right here in Kentucky, spoke out Friday with a message to their governments to take action on climate change.
Photo: WKYT/Chelsea Jones
"Living in Kentucky, we're seeing first-hand the effects of mountain-top removal and coal mining,” says Bourbon County High School senior Emily Johnson. “I had a snow day last Friday and the other day it was like 70 degrees outside."
Young people participating in today’s action say they know that climate change is a complex issue, and that there are few, if any, easy solutions. They say, however, that something must be done, and that it’s a problem that can no longer be ignored.
"A set of climate scientists agree that climate change is a direct result of humans. I think that's indisputable," says Highlands High School sophomore Juliana Russ.
Students from across the state gathered in downtown Lexington to express their support of the Green New Deal proposed by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They also voiced their disapproval with continued reliance on coal.
The KY Coal Association, however, responded that nixing coal will hurt the economy.
"Kentuckians that support the Green New Deal need to understand that, here in Kentucky, nearly 80 percent of our electricity is produced by coal,” says Tyler White, President of the KY Coal Association. “That allows us to compete industrially speaking."
Students hope their efforts will garner more support from the community, and that more lawmakers will hear their message, as well.
"Kentucky legislators need to be listening to young people of their state because we're the people that are going to be voting for them in the next five, ten, fifteen years," says Russ.
Kentucky students say they hope to have more climate change events in the future.