Students filled Town Square with chants of “Hey hey, ho ho, fossil fuels have got to go” Friday afternoon as they joined the international Youth Climate Strike.

Teens from Australia to Uganda protested what they see as decades of inaction on climate change by world leaders.

“It affects our future and our generation,” Cameryn Cross, 13, said. “If we don’t do something now, it will affect everything.”

Over 30 middle and high school students met under the antler arches before walking around downtown chanting with signs.

Some posters read: “We speak for the trees,” “It’s the hour for wind power,” “Denying climate = denying us,” “The dinosaurs probably thought they had more time” and “The climate is changing so why don’t we?”

The Wyoming teenagers were joined by a few parents, community members and even a dog.

Sienna Taylor joined Jackson Hole High School classmate Rosalie Daval to rally the troops.

“Since this is the generation that’s going to be facing a lot of the consequences, we have to take action,” Taylor said.

While skipping school for the day or even a few hours isn’t always encouraged, Daval said, “We definitely feel supported by the science and by the education that we’ve received.”

One of the younger protesters was 10-year-old Max Andersen. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, a teenager recently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, inspired him to participate.

“He’s worried adults are not paying enough attention,” Max’s mother, Marilyn Andersen, said.

Student concerns ranged from sea turtles and polar bears facing extinction to melting glaciers and rising sea levels. They also said they were worried about what climate change could do to their home in the Tetons.

When asked what she was most afraid of, 14-year-old Chloe Wehner said, “this place not looking the same as it’s always looked.”

Since 1900 average annual temperatures in Jackson Hole have climbed 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit, stream temperatures are 1.8 degrees warmer and frost free nights are happening earlier in the spring and later in the fall, a 2015 report found.

The report predicts warmer winters and a thinner average snowpack, with implications for alpine and snow-dependent species, as well as larger and more frequent wildfires that could eventually make it impossible for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s pine forests to survive.

Journeys School student Taylor Smith, 14, said she grew up participating in winter sports activities that could cease to exist.

“If we have kids,” she said, “we might not be able to share those experiences with them.”

Earlier in the day, some students wrote letters to legislators encouraging support for conservation efforts, sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy sources.

“What’s on the line is something I’m very passionate about,” Daval said.

Contact Kylie Mohr at 732-7079, schools@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGschools.

Kylie Mohr covers the education and health beats. Mohr grew up in Washington and came to Wyoming via Georgetown. She loves seeing the starry night sky again.

(11) comments

Ken Chison

Can you say "indoctrination"? Warp and mold their feeble minds at an early age. Maybe these so called teachers should be truthful about what a future with no fossil fuel looks like. No smart phones and no xboxes, right off the bat. You want windmills? Line em up from Wilson to Moran. Then they can see what their precious Tetons look like. While we are at it, why do we let all that geothermal go to waste in Yellowstone? Harness it for electricity. Plain stupid to let those BTUs escape into the atmosphere. Then tell them to walk, or ride a bike. That will go over good. Oh, wait a minute. The rubber tires on their bike are made from fossil fuel. Do you really think you can even build or erect a wind tower without fossil fuel? Come on! Quit lying to these kids. Why don't you rally them about the horrible traffic conditions in Jackson. All those fossil fuel burning cars congesting city streets and running over what wildlife is left. Good work Jackson. You are officially the loon capital of Wyoming.

Ken Chison

I almost forgot. Don't forget to tell them how the school stays so warm and their homes as well. All brought to them via a pipeline, straight from the Jonah field, near Pinedale, thanks to guess what? Fracking. Monday should be an interesting day at school.

Chad guenter

Sadly Ken, these kids are not the minority in their generation. This would be lining up exactly like the genocidal Cultural Revolution in China IF American's were not armed. These "children" in time, would imprison or kill the opposition as so many of their SOCIALIST predecessors around the world have done in the past.
The word "socialist" should have an even worse stigma than the word na-zi.

Funny, JHNG's filter wont even allow the word, yet Socialism throughout history is responsible for the murder of far more innocents than the historically offensive "N word".

Silas Wotkyns

Why are you comparing high school children to a worldwide genocide?

Chad guenter

Why Silas? Ask these kids if the describe themselves as "socialist", I would wager 90% or more would. Their words “Since this is the generation that’s going to be facing a lot of the consequences, we have to take action,” . These are probably the same kids in the "march for our lives" rally. They actively assault the 1st two amendments of the constitution. Remove freedom of speech, no debate allowed on climate change has become the M.O. on this topic, and remove the Right to bear arms.
These kids will further radicalize in their Socialist mindset, and when put in positions of power they will use force to enact their agenda. History tells us this much.

Engage Staff
Audience Engagement

Chad,

The "N word" is blocked in order to prevent it being used in personal attacks.

SJ

Silas Wotkyns

If you feel so strong about this, get out there and say something.

Silas Wotkyns

You have too much time on your hands.

Bob Parlsey

nickers

Chad guenter

The poor brainwashed children have no idea how they are being used as a tool to enslave their own, and future generations.

Brave New World, and "1984" are on display every day across this country.

Silas Wotkyns

Thanks chad.

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