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Sustainable Missoula: Global Climate Strike is demand for sweeping change

Missoula artist Leslie Van Stavern Millar recently created this gouache painting, “Ideal Girls and Ideal Boys Schoolstrike for Climate.”

As the climate crisis worsens, as frontline communities continue to feel the real-time effects of climate change and fossil fuel extraction, as inaction on climate change increasingly threatens the survival of the human species, Missoulians are joining the international call to strike September 20-27, 2019.

As a young person who will see the next 50 years play out, who will see what 2030, 2040 and 2050 bring us, I’m terrified. I’m angry. I’m sometimes exhausted. But as I’ve committed fully to this fight, I must be an optimist by nature. I must believe in people and the power we have as a collective force to bring about change. And I really do.

Believing in that collective strength has felt easier and more attainable as we’ve seen more movements grow and develop across the world, especially those led by young people and other frontline communities. Climate activists with the most on the line, especially those who are indigenous, disenfranchised and marginalized in their communities, have paved the way for strong, loud action on climate justice. Now, young people are following their lead, thanks to movements like those led by the indomitable 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, the catalyst for the school strikes that have shaken the world and provided a long overdue wake-up call.  

This Friday’s Global Climate Strike is poised to be the largest environmental demonstration in history, with young people and their allies participating in over 150 countries and across six continents. In our very own Missoula, students from the university, from high schools and even middle schools will be walking out of class to demand action.

Businesses like the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, Upcycled and Fact & Fiction will be closing their doors in solidarity with the movement (and the list of businesses closing their doors is growing). Next week, students will participate in a weeklong climate teach-in, fueled by food donated from other local businesses and community members.

I’m asking you to join this movement. Climate change fear can be debilitating, overwhelming and existential. There are so many unknowns, it’s hard to know even where to begin. Yet the one thing that is crystal clear to me is that nothing will change without us asking, then demanding that it be changed.

So strike with us, talk with us, learn with us this week as we come together as a community and demand unprecedented sweeping change. There’s something happening this week for everybody, whether you’re new to the fight or are a climate veteran. Participate for you, your children, my generation and the generations beyond all of us. This planet is a gift, and we have no time to waste. 

See below for all the exciting opportunities to engage!

Anna Weinberg is a 20-something climate activist living in Missoula.

Upcoming Climate Strike Week + Sustainability Events:

Missoula Community Climate Strike Week Events – Details available at climatestrikemissoula.org.
High school + UM student teach-ins and student-oriented events  – see missoulaclimatestrike.org.

Thursday, Sept 19. 6-7:30 pm Communicating about Climate. A panel discussion hosted by the National Communication Association and UM’s Climate Change Studies at Program. University Center, Room 326/327. More information here.

Friday, September 20

  • 10 a.m. – Morning kick-off rally at Caras Park​: Organized by high school and college students and young adults. Details at missoulaclimatestrike.org
  • 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. – Demonstration at NorthWestern Energy: Gather with other concerned community members at NWE’s Missoula office (1903 S Russell St) to “Sound the Alarm”. Led by 350 Montana.
  • 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.  – “Families Strike for Our Future” rally: Join Families for a Livable Climate + Partners at the County Courthouse as middle-schoolers and families with children gather together to demand a sustainable future. Hear from young leaders, and local activists and organizations about solutions.
  • 3 – 5 p.m. – Restoration project on Rattlesnake Creek: Plant trees, shrubs and help with seeding as part of a restoration project on Rattlesnake Creek. Organized by Families for a Livable ClimateClimate Smart Missoula and in partnership with Missoula’s Parks & Rec. RSVPs needed:  livableclimate@gmail.com.
  • 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Climate Action Montana “Parklet”. Stop by the parklet at 111 N. Higgins to learn more about strike activities, have conversations, and call/write elected officials. Sponsored by Climate Action MT.

THE REST OF THE WEEK: Details for all of these 

NOTE: Monday – Friday teach-ins held at UM starting at 9am. See missoulaclimatestrike.org for full schedule.

Sat. Sept 21, 7 pm, Roxy Theater. “Motherload,” a documentary about a mother’s quest to understand the digital age, its planetary impact, and how cargo bikes could be an antidote. Sponsored by Pedal Missoula. 

Sun. Sept 22. Faith and Climate Action leads a climate action weekend in Faith communities.

Sun. Sept 22, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Roxy Theater. “The Reluctant Radical,” a documentary by filmmaker Lindsey Grayzel, followed by “Make the World Greta Again,” a short biography of Greta. Sponsored by 350 Montana.
 
Mon. Sept 23, 3:30 – 4:50 pm Public Teach-in: The State of Climate Action: Movements, Politics, Policies (UM class, open to the public). UM campus, Liberal Arts 11. Sponsored by UM’s Climate Change Studies program.

Tues. Sept 24, 12:30 – 1:30 pm, GoodWorks Ventures. 129 W. Alder. Community Climate Conversation. This presentation explores the science of climate change and its impacts on Montana, and helps participants explore their personal climate story. Led by with Families for a Livable Climate. 
 

Wed. Sept 25, 12: 30 – 2:30 pm “Can Climate Justice Co-Exist with US Empire?” – a panel discussion about who should control land, water, air, and movement in the midst of the climate crisis. Co-sponsored by the Montana Chapter of the Sierra Club and UM Climate Action Collective Climate Change and Imperialism. 


Wed. Sept 25, 3:30 – 4:50 pm Public Teach-in: Renewable Energy (UM Intro to Climate Change class, open to the public). UM campus, Liberal Arts 11.

Fri. Sept 27. Join 350Montana for a trip to Butte – details at 350 Montana.org

Fri. Sept 27. Evening Celebration at Free Cycles.

Sat. September 28. 10 am – 3 pm Missoula’s second annual Clean Energy Expo. Caras Park. Join Climate Smart Missoula, The Montana Renewable Energy Association + partners to learn about and celebrate climate solutions and clean energy. Free and family-friendly with exhibits and presentations. More at missoulaclimate.org and if you’d like to volunteer for a couple hours email Abby.

This Sustainable Missoula column is brought to you – via the Missoula Current – every Friday by Climate Smart Missoula and Home ReSource.