Energy & Environment

Students Rally Outside Houston City Hall For Global Climate Change Strike

It comes a day after yet another tropical storm put parts of Houston under water.

Hundreds of students rallied outside Houston City Hall to demand action be taken to address climate change, as part of a global student strike called Fridays For Future, started by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. 

The Houston protest wasn’t as big as in many other cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, but some speakers praised the turnout nonetheless. Even Mayor Sylvester Turner showed up briefly. 

Many students didn’t even have to play hooky: In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Imelda, the Houston Independent School District was closed Friday.

For Lamar High School student Mia Sorak, it hammers home why they’re protesting.

“Imelda is a very good example of what’s been going on to our planet, how we need to do something and to change and stop this from happening in the future,” she said. “Because if we don’t stop it’ll happen more often.”

One of the speakers at the rally, Izzy Richards with the Sunrise Movement, said that “there is a fear in Houston when it comes to addressing climate change, and this is because we cannot talk about the climate crisis without talking about the fossil fuel industry.”

But Houston’s success is not reliant on oil and gas, she said, because very little oil is drilled here. Instead, Houston is where many white collar and management oil and gas jobs are located.

“We’re a city rich in innovation. We’re a city rich in leadership. We’re a city rich in resilience,” Richards said to cheers. “And that is why Houston can transition the United States to a carbon-neutral America.”

There were also many adults in the rally, including Jeremy Cruey, who came with his partner and two young children.

“We have a voice and it needs to be heard,” he said. “I have two children and we’ve got to do something. Our children should be in school right now. This is way more important.”

Many stayed even when heavy rains hit downtown about an hour into the rally. 

On the same day, thousands of student climate strikes were to take place in 150 countries, according to organizers.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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