We may not have Greta in town, but Dallas is nonetheless joining a worldwide strike to call attention to a global climate crisis.
The Global Climate Strike is a series of protests and other activities, from September 20-27, designed to raise awareness of the climate breakdown and encourage politicians and business leaders to take urgent action.
Organizers include environmental organizations, students, labor and humanitarian groups, and company employees. In some cities, students are taking the day off from school to participate.
In Dallas, the events begin on September 20 and run throughout the week, which can be followed via a Facebook event page.
The face of the protest has become Greta Thunberg, an inspiring 16-year-old activist from Sweden who has been making appearances before political bodies such as the National Assembly of Paris in July, and on TV shows like The Daily Show in September, to convey a sense of urgency.
She's in the United States to attend the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23. (She came via a zero-emissions boat, a trip that took two weeks; she does not fly because of the environmental impact.)
Thunberg is speaking about the shrinking wiggle room we have in terms of carbon emissions before we're no longer able to undo irreversible climate breakdown.
Thunberg quotes a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an intergovernmental body of the United Nations, which states that, in order to limit catastrophic temperature rise, we have to lower our carbon emissions.
"We have 425 gigatons of carbon dioxide left in our co2 budget, and we emit 42 gigatons of co2 every year," Thunberg says. "At our current emissions levels, our remaining budget is gone within 8 and a half years."
Following Thunberg's lead, the Global Climate Strike has been primarily youth-driven, but other environmental groups around Dallas are joining in.
To kick off the week, activists will meet at 7 pm at the west end of the Continental Bridge/Margaret Hunt Hill/Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge for a rally. This is a peaceful, nonviolent, nonpartisan event.
It promises to be pretty dramatic, since it entails a march across the bridge culminating in a symbolic "die-in." When it gets dark, the group will be joined by the North Texas Light Brigade for a light display and photo op with the Dallas skyline as a backdrop.
Participating organizations include youthful groups like the Sunrise Movement Dallas, Young Advocates Committee, and Zero Hour - Dallas.
But it's pretty much a laundry list of every group in Dallas that cares about the environment and quality of life: Dallas Sierra Club, Dallas Peace & Justice Center, Earthworks Oil & Gas Accountability Project, Environmental Justice Committee, Pax Christi Dallas, Social Action Council of the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, Southern Sector Rising, Texas Campaign for the Environment, Veterans For Peace, Chapter 106, and more.
The schedule of activities is as follows:
Friday, September 20, 7 pm
Kickstart event for Global Climate Strike Week of Action
Continental Bridge/Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, 2901 N. Beckley Ave., Dallas
Saturday, September 21, 10 am
Zero Hour Dallas hosts "Dallas Youth Climate March
Collin County Courthouse, 2100 Bloomdale Rd., McKinney
Monday, September 23, 10 am
Codepink Greater Dallas and Veterans For Peace hosts "Tell BlackRock: Divest from Fossil Fuels and War"
5910 N. Central Expy. (just north of Mockingbird Station)
Monday, September 23, 5:30-7:30 pm
Dallas Sierra Club hosts "Climate Change Walk" through downtown Dallas
Main Street Garden Park, 195 S. Harwood St.
Tuesday, September 24, 11:30 am
The Young Advocates Committee hosts a Climate Strike
University of Texas at Dallas
Thursday, September 26, 10 am
Bee for the Planet - Dallas hosts "Swarm Dallas to Save the Planet" including a BEE Flash-dance & die-in
Thursday, September 26, 6 pm
DISD Board Meeting
5151 Samuell Blvd., Dallas
Students, parents, and supporters are encouraged to sign up to encourage DISD to adopt a climate action plan. Call 214-762-3163 to coordinate.