Stand up, fight back against climate change


photo or infographic by Ali McNew

Climate justice activists hold up colorful signs while striking for global climate change on Friday, September 20th.

by Ali McNew, VOW staff

Ali McNew
Hundreds of people gathered at the steps of Houston City Hall to protest for Climate Justice, despite the strong winds and heavy rain that came with tropical depression Imelda.


These words alone may not seem like much, but when you are surrounded by hundreds of people who care enough about our planet to stand in the pouring rain and fight for our future, it is the most powerful thing in the world.

On Friday, September 20th, there were Global Climate Strikes held all around the world in order to bring awareness to this pressing subject. I went to the strike on the steps of the Houston City Hall, and it was one of the most incredible experiences to see people of all different beliefs rallying together for something that is extremely important: our future. 

The Earth’s climate is proven to be changing at a very rapid rate. In fact, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we have less than 12 years until the climate damage is irreversible. That is 11 years until what we have been doing ruins our planet. The continuous burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of carbon-absorbing forests are contributing to the large emission of Carbon dioxide. Another contributor to the demolition of our atmosphere is plastic. It does not decompose, therefore they will emit gases such as methane and ethylene for as long as they can. All of these dangerous gases get trapped in our atmosphere and can stick around for hundreds of years since they have nowhere else to go. This is called the Greenhouse Effect, and it is the major grounds for global warming, or climate change. 

Pullquote Photo

A common misconception is that it is a purely political debate. But, this is not one party against another. There is no Republican versus Democrat when it comes to this issue. It is simply people. People who are worried about the condition of our planet, and people who care about our future. 

— Ali McNew

People like to make a joke out of global warming, and say that it is fake. The scientific facts don’t lie. According to NASA, the planet’s average surface temperature has risen by 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit. This may not seem like a lot, but just imagine our summers getting hotter and hotter by 2 degrees every year. Imagine what that would do to the mammal population, or to the sea level (which has risen by as much as 9 inches since 1992), or to the already receding glaciers and melting snow caps. Global warming has been proven to affect the amount of tropical storms and hurricanes that touch land and the acidification of our oceans. Our world would be no different than any other planet in our solar system if we keep doing what we are doing. 

Denial is not helping our current situation. It is time to wake up and realize that human beings are destroying the one thing that is keeping us alive. I am calling for a drastic change in the way this world is run. We must reduce the amount of plastic we use in our daily lives and recycle what we do use. We need to make sure to turn off the lights when we leave a room and stop wasting so much water. Companies need to develop more energy efficient ways to run their factories. Deforestation needs to come to an end. It is time to stand up and fight back. It is time to do what is right, because if we wait any longer, it will be too late.