This article was written by a student in Intro to Mass Communications, the class that precedes The Cardinal Times.
Youth across the globe are working to shine light on the dangers climate change poses to our future. Here at Lincoln, the Environmental Justice Club (EJC) is hoping that their meetings will ensure students feel they have a way to make a difference.
Bella Klosterman founded the EJC in the 2018-19 school year. There are currently seven environmental justice leaders at Lincoln: Erika Leung, Sarah Faik, Iris Weaverbell, Isabella Hartman, Chloe Gilmore, Amy Henrikson and Chase Allbritton. They aim to educate their members and other students about environmentalism and lead students to take action against environmentally harmful legislation.
“We’re looking to do a lot of education and some action, spreading the word about things like strikes or other big things, that are both local and international,” said EJC leader Amy Henrikson. “Along with that, education [is important], and talking about different issues, especially intersectionality within every issue, [and] making sure that we have actions we can take as a whole, so people don’t feel like it’s helpless.”
Many of our everyday activities rely on industries that have a negative effect on our environment. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in the U.S., the economic sectors that have the most greenhouse gas emissions are transportation, with 29 percent of emissions, electricity, with 25 percent and industry, with 23 percent.
Lincoln students are working to change aspects of their life to minimize their impact on the environment.
“My passion for the climate comes from a place of sustainability, especially in fashion, and social justice,” said EJC leader Erika Leung. “Over the summer of 2020, I joined Sunrise Movement PDX, the local chapter of a national youth climate movement. [In addition,] I wanted to get more involved with my own community and meet like-minded people, so I decided to join Lincoln’s EJC.”
Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many aspects of both climate change and climate justice changed. According to Stanford University, when in-person activities shut down, carbon emissions dropped, primarily due to the decrease in transportation usage. However, climate strikes halted as well, when many households chose to physically isolate themselves.
As COVID cases drop, many activities, including climate strikes, are starting to return. Thousands of Portland youth attended an international climate strike on Sept. 24.
“Now in-person, we can be more active in the community.” Leung said. “We already helped organize Lincoln’s participation in the Global Climate Strike on Friday along with ASB and are hoping to achieve more.”
Leung invites other students to join.
“If anyone would like to participate in the club,our meetings are Thursdays at lunch in room 143,” said Leung. “People can reach out to any one of our leaders to be added to the email list!”
To be added to the email list, contact [email protected]