Climate Strike in Los Angeles This Friday, November 1
Youth-led event on November 1 at Los Angeles City Hall will feature Greta Thunberg
This Friday, November 1, climate activist Greta Thunberg will join local youth organizers for a Climate Strike at Los Angeles City Hall from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Event details are available on Action Network and Facebook.
Climate change is a “wildfire multiplier” in California, with warming temperatures drying out vegetation and increasing risk of fires that threaten communities and add to greenhouse gas pollution. Thousands of Angelenos have evacuated their homes this week due to wildfires and millions across the state are experiencing power outages and other wildfire impacts.
As global heating trends continue, California’s most recent climate assessment predicts increased average temperatures, more extreme heat days, sea-level rise, reduced snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, and an increased risk of both drought and extreme rainfall events. In Los Angeles, average maximum temperatures are projected to increase around 4-5° F by the mid-century, and the hottest day of the year may be up to 10° F warmer for many locations across the LA region by the late-century. A recent IPCC report detailed the potential global impacts of just 2.7° F (1.5° C).
Local officials are making efforts to respond. This year, the city of Los Angeles updated its sustainability plan with new targets for Angelenos, among many, to reduce their average driving miles, transition to zero-emission vehicles, and build net-zero carbon buildings. This summer, Los Angeles County released its first sustainability plan, which commits the region to eliminating fossil fuel production by 2050.
But youth organizers argue California and LA’s political leaders need to move faster to cut climate and other pollutants across the region. The organizers are protesting the impacts of pollution from major highways, industrial facilities, and fossil fuel production, which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions as well as disproportionately degrade air quality for low-income communities of color in LA. As Juan Matute, deputy director of UCLA’s Institute on Transportation Planning, noted on Twitter this week, even on days without wildfires, communities across LA suffer from hazardous air quality. LA’s worsening air quality is having public health impacts, with a 10 percent increase in deaths attributed to ozone in 2010 to 2017.
The strike organizers are demanding the California government set up a 2,500-foot buffer between oil and gas operations and schools and homes, halt permitting for new fossil fuel projects, and end existing oil production in the state.
The youth organizers’ demand for California’s government to end subsidies and permitting for fossil fuel production echoes themes in youth litigation across the world, including the landmark children’s climate case, Juliana v. United States, now being considered in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Eugene, OR. The 21 youth plaintiffs from across the U.S. are experiencing coastal flooding, wildfires, and other global warming impacts. The plaintiffs’ lawyers argue the federal government has an obligation to maintain a safe and stable climate, and are seeking a ruling that would force the federal government to develop a comprehensive plan to eliminate fossil fuel use. Emmett Institute faculty director Ann Carlson discussed the case in a Legal Planet blog post and an interview for 60 Minutes.