Citizens of Utah joined people around the world on Friday in an international climate strike.
“We hope that the university will, well, they’ll notice, of course," said Maria Catalano. She and classmate Rachel Chamberland organized the rally at Utah State University.
"But because of the student support, they’ll actually make a change because as students, we’re the ones paying tuition. Without the students there would be no university. So our opinions should matter in their legislation, and that’s what we want them to know.”
They are students in the Conservation, Restoration, Ecology program at USU. Rallies were held around the world, with an estimated 4 million people participating in over 2,500 events worldwide. Closer to home, events were held in Salt Lake City, Logan and Utah County. Local demonstrations in Utah focused on demands for climate change actions from local politicians and governing bodies.
Charles Ashurst was working at the petition booth.
“We’re with the Clean Up The Darn Air organization," he said. "We’re doing a petition drive to get a carbon tax on the 2020 ballot for the state of Utah. The plan is to eliminate the sales tax on groceries so it would be revenue neutral. The slogan is ‘tax pollution instead of potatoes.’”
Logan Municipal Councilman Herm Olsen attended the Logan rally to encourage attendees to contact their council members to demand actions to mitigate climate change.
“There are some on the council who are very supportive; there are some who are resistant," he said. "And it’s important that students and residents of Logan let their voices be heard, especially during election time when candidates seem to be listening. So I think it’s crucial that people speak up, write letters, write emails, speak up, attend council meetings - they’ll pay attention.”