At school board meetings across Sonoma County, young supporters of the Schools for Climate Action campaign have been breaking the silence about climate change and generational climate justice. School board members in Sebastopol, the Sonoma County Office of Education, Sonoma Valley and Santa Rosa have heeded this impassioned appeal and passed strong climate action resolutions to protect current and future students.
We expect that school communities across the country will follow Sonoma County's lead and speak with one voice calling on all elected leaders to take climate action now. This resounding cry from the educational sector will help break the logjam on climate policy in Washington.
Let's not betray our proud heritage, our American values, or our precious children by running away from this problem. We already have the policy tools and the technology to wean our economy off fossil fuels. We know dealing with this issue sooner rather than later will save trillions of dollars in the long run. There are leaders in both parties who want to enact common sense climate solutions. All that we lack to get this done is the clear public expression of political will. We need to clearly tell our elected leaders at every level that this issue is of utmost importance to us.
School board members, 90,000-strong across the country, are the only elected leaders with a singular focus on the well-being of young people. When we started our campaign, we could only find 20 of those 90,000 who had taken action to protect students from climate change. Now, thanks to Schools for Climate Action school board resolutions, there are 50 board members who have spoken up.
With the help of active, empowered youth, we hope thousands more school board members join Sonoma County's courageous educational leaders. Help us show the nation's school communities the path Sonoma County has blazed and speak up for climate action to protect young people and future generations.
Please join Schools for Climate Action at the Sebastopol Grange March 11 from 2-4pm for a summit meeting on the issue. Or visit schoolsforclimateaction.weebly.com for more information.
Park Guthrie is the co-founder of Schools for Climate Action