Flyer provided by 350 Humboldt

Local youth will again lead a climate march and rally at the Arcata Plaza today, joining Fridays for Future — a global climate strike inspired by the actions of young Swedish activist Greta Thunburg. 

Jamie Blatter, volunteer organizer for 350 Humboldt, a local movement dedicated to supporting climate action for the North Coast, told the Outpost that the event will feature speakers from Cal Poly Humboldt and the Northcoast Preparatory Academy. 

One of the main focuses of this rally will be “speaking about justice and why it needs to be at the center of climate conversations,” Blatter said in a phone interview Friday. “The climate crisis has disproportionate impacts on Indigenous people and people of color.” 

As a form of climate justice, Fridays for Future demands climate reparations for the communities most impacted by climate change. From the Fridays for Future website :

This should not be in the form of loans, but a follow through on the demands from Indigenous, black, anti-patriarchal and diverse marginalized communities to get their lands back, giving resources to the most affected communities by the climate crisis for adaptation, loss and damages – a redistribution (and in most cases, collectivization) of wealth, technology, information, care work, and political power both from the north to the south, and from top to bottom.

In addition to social justice, Blatter said that the local rally will also focus on how climate change impacts our mental health. As the climate crisis becomes more dire, many people are regularly experiencing anxiety about the effects of climate change. This is becoming a more widely recognized issue, sometimes referred to as eco-anxiety, climate-anxiety or climate-grief. 

Blatter feels that, especially since feeling the isolation that came with the pandemic, it is more important than ever to discuss our feelings and fears related to climate change. 

“We need to build community, to let people know that they’re not alone in having these feelings,” Blatter said. 

Though talking about our feelings is important, Blatter added, it is also important to pressure our elected officials to take concrete action to combat climate change. The main purpose of the rally is to show our policy makers that we want action and that they need to keep climate at the center of all discussions when planning any type of development. 

Blatter encouraged everyone to attend today’s rally on the Arcata Plaza, starting at 5 p.m. 

“The time is now,” Blatter said. “Climate isn’t just one issue. It effects everything we care about.”