Youth can win on climate goal

I am a senior citizen who participated in the climate rally on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall on Sept. 20. It was wonderful to see the students organize such a dynamic event. My generation created the first Earth Day in 1970, but we later lost our drive and focus. I apologize.

I have some thoughts for the youth:

Kudos for making the effort to refocus us on the seriousness of the climate situation. I urge you to keep setting an example for us all by both your words and by making personal lifestyle choices that can make a difference.

Do not give up until you see meaningful changes. If you think that no one will listen because you can’t vote, let me share my experience:

When I became a teenager, the voting age was 21. Yet males 18, 19 and 20 years old could be drafted into the army. We teens thought it was obvious that if someone was mature enough to fight, kill and possibly be killed in a war, they were mature enough to vote for the leaders who would make decisions about going to war. We didn’t have money or the power to vote, but we had the power of numbers and a rational message. We were heard. By the time I was 18, I was able to vote.

If you have friends who chose not to participate this time, encourage them to join you next time. This started with Greta Thunberg sitting alone outside the building of her Parliament and has grown into an international movement. Help it to grow further — numbers get attention.

Thank you for taking action about the most important issue of our time. Humanity’s survival is at stake. If we don’t get this one right, no other issue will really matter. Keep reminding us that there is no Planet B.

John Day

Fluvanna County{&lettersname}

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