By: Arielle Bader
Climate change affects all of us on planet Earth. We are living through increasingly hotter global temperatures, rising sea levels, and more frequent extreme natural disasters. Our planet is under threat and demands large-scale systematic change to tackle this climate crisis.
As the earth heats up, the Climate Justice Movement strengthens its fight for a livable future.
The movement looks different for many. There are crowds of protestors walking to the U.S. Capitol calling for change. Protest happens off the streets too, in our own backyards, the ways we spend our money, how we manage our trash, and much more. It can look like teaching youth or farming sustainably or eating more plants. The more people that prioritize the environment today, the bigger the positive trend that can result.
Our house is on fire and environmental activists are determined to put the fire out. They are determined, hopeful, and passionate about finding solutions. Scroll through this photo essay for a look at those fighting to save our planet.
Bridgette Downer speaks to children about mushrooms in Seneca Creek State Park on Oct. 8, 2020, in Darnestown, Maryland. The mother, scientist, and educator runs a Homeschool Cooperative where families work with their hands, play outside, and connect to nature in a community.
Natalie Raterman plants spinach on her family’s regenerative farm on Jan. 14, 2021, in Dade City, Florida.
Hundreds of student activists #ShutDownDC and marched through the city, stopping to protest outside of institutions they criticized, including The Environmental Protection Agency, The Trump International Hotel, and Wells Fargo Bank on Sept. 27, 2019, in Washington, D.C.
Smoke bombs go off around Extinction Rebellion protestors outside of CNN Headquarters on Sept. 18, 2020, in Washington, D.C. The local protest group called on the news organization to “Tell The Truth” about the climate emergency and cut its ties to the fossil fuel industry.
“We need to say no more. I’m gonna fight. We are all going to fight for our future,” said Ethan Viviander, 12, who spoke to a crowd headed to the Global Climate Strike on Sept. 20, 2019, in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Lana Weidgenant, 21, poses for a portrait at The John Wilson Building before testifying to D.C. City Council on Dec 9, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Weidgenant testified in support of government standards for more efficient, energy-saving appliances.
Kyle Simpson, 19, mimics a Chinese Goose at Forested on Oct. 2, 2020, in Bowie, Maryland. Simpson is certified in permaculture design, a set of principles and ideas for life and land, and volunteers at Forested, a forest garden, to learn more about using nature’s solutions.
Carmen Raterman, science educator, picks tangerines off a tree at Monarch Farms, a former citrus grove, on Jan. 14, 2021, in Dade City, Florida. Raterman plans to grow flowers and vegetables organically, without pesticides and instead use compost, and host workshops at her farm in the future.
New materials are added to a compost pile at Lederer Gardens in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 15, 2020. “Composting is essentially a renewal process. It is a verb and it’s a noun,” said Najwa Womack, a D.C. native who has been composting for the past seven years. Organic materials are broken down and create a nutrient-dense soil amendment.
High School Senior Sophia Geiger, 18, protests for Climate Justice in front of traffic outside of Northwood High School where passing cars would beep in support on Sept. 18, 2020, in Silver Spring, Maryland. Geiger organized with Fridays for Futures USA and participated in weekly strikes calling for action on the climate crisis.
Joseph Wright paddles along the Potomac River searching for trash on Nov 5, 2019, in Alexandria, Virginia. Wright was never one to be afraid of picking up trash. He goes out on the water several days a week and hopes to inspire others to pick up trash and documents his passion for litter picking on Instagram: @SUP.Garbage.Man
Najwa Womack poses for a portrait before a composting session at Lederer Gardens in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 28, 2020. Womack runs Sistained 8, an action step movement that increases awareness around environmental sustainability and teaches the community about composting.
Lana Weidgenant thrift shops at Buffalo Exchange on Nov. 7, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Weidgenant is now the United Nations Food Systems Summit Vice-Chair of Shifting to Sustainable Consumption.
During a George Washington University Men’s Basketball Game, Sunrise GW members protested from the stands and unveiled a 25-foot banner that read “Divest Now” creating a sea of yellow in the student section on Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington, D.C. The following summer, the Board of Trustees committed to divesting from fossil fuels by the year 2025.