This past Friday, September 20th, the world saw one of the largest global protests in history, striking against the lack of action from governments around the world in regards to climate change. The protests were organized and led by generation z kids, who are also refusing to have kids in the future, until they’re ensured that there will be a future. Sources have reported the worldwide crowd total reached up to 4 million! New York City even gave permission to its 1.1 million students to take off of school for the day to protest for their futures, drawing a crowd of 250,000 NYC citizens to the streets, making it the largest protest group in the world for the day.
Greta Thunberg, the noteable 16 year old Swedish climate activist marched the streets of New York City as well, telling USA Today, “Around the world today about 4 million people have been striking. This is the biggest climate strike ever in history and we all should be so proud of ourselves because we have done this together.”
Greta Thunberg In the NYC Climate Strike
In addition to the hundreds of thousands of inspiring teenagers marching, workers from Amazon headquarters all across the globe also participated in a “walk out” to join the climate strike. The walk out was organized by a group of Amazon employees known as “Amazon Employees for Climate Justice.” The group works hard on using the vast amount of Amazon resources and money for the greater good of the planet, however, working under one of the largest companies on the planet makes global change quite difficult. The group estimated that around 1,800 employees from 25 offices located in a total of 13 different countries would participate, however, Seattle alone had over 3,000 employees walk out on Friday.
At approximately 11:30 am in Seattle, the 3,000 workers left their offices and conglomerated in “The Spheres”, which are a trio of steel-and-glass greenhouses Amazon built for employee use. The employees held up signs protesting the mass amount of fossil fuel use Amazon uses every day for deliveries. One of the most popular signs was “Good Start Jeff” which was a response to a claim made by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who said the company would be completely carbon neutral by 2040, an ambitious goal that Bezos is also planning on having 50% completed by 2030. The initial reaction to this news was quite positive, however, the group of Amazon climate activists wasn’t satisfied enough. The group tweeted on Friday that it “wants Amazon to commit to zero emissions by 2030 and pilot electric vehicles first in communities most impacted by pollution.”
“Climate change is and must be a work-appropriate conversation, climate action is your job, this means living our values, walking into the office every day ready to reassert what you believe in. We are a community united across tech, across countries. We are not Google, we are not Amazon or Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Twitter. We are human beings and we need each other right now,” said an employee named Sam to reporters at the Seattle walk out.
Amazon workers are viewing the corporate level “promise” to help the planet seems like they’re just sliding in at the last minute in order to cover up for the lack of action they could’ve taken within the past decade. Employees want a guarantee from Amazon that they will no longer donate to political campaigns/candidates/lobbyists who are public about their denying of climate change, and additionally to stop all business/contracts with fossil fuel companies. The company employs over 600,000 people worldwide, so the group is really encouraging Amazon to be the lead tech company on track to run on zero emissions.
The group doesn’t plan on backing down anytime soon, and neither does the rest of the world. So until the big companies and politicians actually start taking action and claiming that we are in a climate crisis, the world will continue to unapologetically scream about it.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.