Conard Students Restart Environmental Club
By: Clare Gillis
Within the past decade, the climate crisis has quickly risen to international prominence with citizens from every country around the world calling upon their respective governments to take action. Climate strikes have become increasingly popular, the most notable of which occurred September 20th-27th 2019.
Internationally recognized activist Greta Thunburg is the mastermind behind most of these organized strikes, with millions of people in over 200 countries attending demonstrations according to event organizers interviewed for Time Magazine. Thunburg became such a widely regarded figure in the climate change movement after gaining attention from an individual climate strike in the summer of 2018. Speaking at the United Nations Climate Conference when she was just fifteen years old only furthered her prominence.
Her actions were recognized by former president Donald Trump, who was well known for not believing in the science of climate change, highlighted by a myriad of actions during his administration including leaving the Paris Climate Agreement, granting permission to oil companies to drill in the Arctic Refuge, and his claiming at presidential debates that the California Wildfires were not due to climate change, but rather due to a lack of “forest management.” His presidency caused climate change to develop into an even more important national debate with many wondering how they could get involved on a more local level to help prevent the crisis from spiraling even more.
Passionate on the issue of climate change herself, Conard High School junior Molly Brown wanted to help spark change on a local level and help get Conard more involved. After realizing that the environmental club had been inactive for a few years, she decided to restart it. Working closely with the club's advisor Ms. Cruz, the two were able to get the word out to students about the club which quickly gained over fifty members. Brown states that the club is working to “...help Conard and the West Hartford community become more sustainable and help spread awareness about climate change”. Brown has also organized relationships between the Conard environmental club and larger national organizations such as the Sierra Club and the Sunrise Movement.
So far the club has tackled two projects, helping to organize a sustainable gift guide during the holiday season and creating posters to hang around the school to get the word out about climate change and the club. Excited by the recent progress made after Biden’s inauguration including the United States’ reinduction into the Paris Climate Agreement, the scrapping of the Keystone Pipeline (which harmed many ecosystems), and the introduction of a concrete climate plan, members of the environmental club are optimistic of change on a national level. As the year progresses, Conard’s new environmental club promises to yield change on a local level.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the club, join via google classroom with the code: hawtg2p