This Earth Day was supposed to be a major event for climate activism. Calls for immediate strong action to combat global warming had been getting louder and more strident for years, and the 2020 U.S. elections represent a tipping point in the decades-long political battle over the climate, giving the usual slate of mass Earth Day protests and other actions more weight than normal.
But the global pandemic has not just diverted the world’s attention away from climate change as an issue, it’s limited what activists are able to do. Most of them have had to organize actions while sheltering in place, and protests have to be virtual, without the usual visuals of huge crowds and pithy slogans on signs.
Mohamed Ahmadi, 16, Chicago
In a short time period, local, national, and international organizers have been forced to rethink and reshape their planned actions and move them online. Despite this, however, I believe that we will be able to voice our concerns and demands as strongly as ever.
For Earth Day, I have been working with my fellow Earth Uprising Youth Staff members and U.S. City Coordinators to create videos that will be featured during Earth Day Live, a three-day livestream that begins on Earth Day. Our videos will emphasize the importance of this type of education and the lack of it in not only the U.S. but the whole world. I am also working with the team members of the Hinsdale Climate Coalition, a local group that I founded last year, and Earth Uprising Chicago to organize online actions and activities like a digital strike, a live educational Kahoot, and an Earth Day–themed TikTok competition.