Students Demand State Action to Reduce Fossil Fuel Investment
BOSTON/State House - Calling on Gov. Deval Patrick to do more to address the issue of climate change, hundreds of students and young people left their classes as part of a demonstration in front of the State House on Monday.
Around 300 protesters from across the Bay State gathered to demand that the state divest from fossil fuels and fossil fuel-related infrastructure, and to highlight the growing threat from climate change.
One of the organizers of the event, and member of Students for a Just and Sustainable Future, Martin Hamilton, told Open Media Boston in an interview, “we have to start moving away from fossil fuels, and Massachusetts is a state that can really lead in that, and we can take this opportunity to start investing in renewables.
“We know that Governor Patrick is a strong leader on climate, and so we feel that we’re going to be able to convey to him the importance of a ban on new fossil fuels in the state,” he continued, “we’re all primarily students, young people, and the fact is we’re going to be living in a world affected by climate change, and we feel that urgency of already seeing the effects of climate change and feeling that as important as school is, we have more important deadlines right now, we need to fight for our futures.”
A small delegation of the student protesters who went inside the State House announced that they had secured a meeting with Gov. Patrick on the issue of state investment in fossil fuels and renewable energy in the coming weeks.
Open Media Boston made multiple requests for a press statement from the Governor’s office, but did not receive a response before the filing of this report.
Speaking at the demonstration, Newton North High School junior Kerry Brock said, “Our schools, our communities, and our state are not taking climate change as seriously as we need them to.” Holding her large biology school textbook, she said “in these 1,500 pages, there is one paragraph about climate change … about a crisis that is completely destroying the way our world functions … a crisis that is killing people, a crisis that threatens society as we know it, I chose to walk out of my junior year of high school, because this one paragraph is not enough.”
Hitting out at Gov. Patrick’s effort to reduce carbon emissions since the signing of the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, Brock said “he agreed to reduce Massachusetts’ emissions 80 per cent by 2050, as of right now, we are not on track to meet that goal, and if we continue to build fossil-fuel infrastructure, that goal will become impossible to meet, so today we have a choice, we can continue to be just another state impossibly entangled in a rogue industry, or we can be the spark to start a clean energy revolution.”
The feared outcome of inaction on climate change says Brock is “more floods, more droughts, more wild fires, more storms and more injustice.”