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New Orleans Students Call For Action Ahead Of U.N. Climate Talks

New Orleans students called for action ahead of UN climate talks in New York.
Jess Clark
WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio
New Orleans students called for action ahead of UN climate talks in New York.

Youth all over the world walked out of school Friday to call for action on climate change, ahead of the United Nations climate talks in New York next week. Students in New Orleans were among those participating in the "Youth Climate Strike."

About 50 kids and parents rallied on the neutral ground at St. Charles Avenue and Napoleon with signs and drums.

"The enemy is profits! Together we'll stop it!" 12-year-old Waldorf School student Ida Schenck yelled into a megaphone, leading the group in a chant. Schenck helped organize the event. She stood on the neutral ground, her blond hair pulled back in a rainbow bandana, and carried a sign that read "I'M PISSED."

"I'm hoping maybe all these strikes will reach the fossil fuel industry, and they can hear us, and hear how desperate we are, and how much we care," she explained.

Her friend and classmate 12-year-old Maslen L'Esperance was there too. She was frustrated that some adults don't want to acknowledge climate change is the result of human activity.

"It's not the planet's fault, it's not anything else's fault. It is humans' fault," L'Esperance said. "And I feel that we -- since we did it -- we have to fix it."

Eleven-year-old Elias Tilton was concerned about increasing natural disasters and environmental contamination by manufacturing companies.

"Global warming is creating unnatural disasters," he said. "They call them disasters that are 'natural,'" he said, "they're basically unnatural."

Several students said they were inspired by 13-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. 

Most of the students protesting were either homeschooled or private school students. 

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