The kids have taken to the streets. With strikes and protests alighting around the world, youth are seemingly at the helm of the climate action movement. This fall, they’re mobilizing an international global strike to demand emergency action to tackle the climate crisis. It’s time for adults to step up.
Some of us are. Republican Congressman Bob Inglis diverged from his party lines in 2007 when he converted to a climate hawk—all under pressure from his son. It cost him his seat in Congress in the 2010 Tea Party wave, but now Bob passionately leads RepublicEn, a nonprofit group organizing Republicans for climate action.
There’s a simple scientific and emotional explanation why our own children have now taken their rightful place leading the global climate movement: parents don’t want to hurt their own kids.
Global climate hero Greta Thunberg and Minnesota local climate hero Kristen Iverson Poppleton of Climate Generation are both pushing for aggressive action on climate at the scale of the problem. Kristin’s team helped organize a meeting of Minnesota youth climate leaders from high schools and colleges with newly-elected Governor Tim Walz. The meetings provided him extra momentum to declare his support for a 100% Clean Electricity Standard in Minnesota, assuring carbon-free electricity by mid-century.
In the delegation of youth activists urging Governor Walz forward? His daughter.
Unfortunately, the Minnesota Senate blocked the 100% clean energy bill this legislative session. The Senate also blocked nearly every other practical provision for climate action that passed the Minnesota House of Representatives under the leadership of climate champion Melissa Hortman.
It’s high time for Minnesota Senators to go home for the summer and learn from their children. Our future is counting on it.