Recently, when asked about the current state of world leadership on the climate crisis, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg mocked world leaders by saying that the last 30 years of climate action amounted to “blah, blah, blah.”
Unfortunately, Ms. Thunberg’s assessment of adult action as blah, blah, blah is very accurate. Particularly, since there is no dispute in what we know.
We know, with our current level of action temperatures will rise beyond levels needed for a livable planet.
We know, with the current level we are polluting the planet, those most at risk for climate-related health problems are our kids, particularly our children of color.
We know that climate change is leading to more extreme weather, again which puts our most marginalized communities at the highest risk.
We know that every day we CHOOSE to wait, we are stealing our children’s future away for our convenience.
A local positive in this struggle is that Saint Paul Public Schools can be a force for climate action NOW! Starting in January, SPPS can and should apply for funding through the State Solar on Schools program and develop a solar array on one of the schools SPPS has identified “ready for solar.” SPPS Facilities has identified Eastern Heights Elementary, Four Seasons Elementary, Galtier Elementary and Nokomis South Elementary as being ready to host this type of array.
In addition, SPPS can follow the lead of districts like Minneapolis Public Schools and develop community-based solar gardens, which directly impact our families pocketbooks along with creating clean energy. When looking at what SPPS schools are “solar ready” AND large enough to host a community garden, we have two prime options in Como Senior High and Washington Technology Magnet.
We need to act now. No more talking is needed. Without action our kids see what we are. We are adults just saying we are concerned about their future, adults looking worried, but really adults who are not caring enough to act. So let’s show our kids we care. Let’s show them we can do more than just talk a good game. We need all reading this letter to contact Superintendent Joe Gothard and the SPPS School Board to express support for action on this issue. In taking actions like this we can take steps toward a healthy future and community for this generation and those beyond.
Como Park Resident
SPPS Employee, Saint Paul Federation of Educators member
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