Climate Strike, 2019: On the University of Michigan campus, organizers estimated a crowd of 7500. A breathtakingly beautiful day to learn what is going to be lost. The emphasis: the speakers all believe that in 11 more years, the damage will be fully irreversible.
Many of the participants were very young people, including whole classes from elementary, middle schools, and high school, as well as university students. To my surprise, the speakers were mainly very young as well, and the organizer appears to have been a high-school student. Their ages were announced: 15, 14, 13... and they spoke dramatically about how they wanted a future. For these speakers, the 11 year deadline looms in the prime of their lives.
The oldest speaker (as far as I gathered) was a graduate student who enumerated the misdeeds of the university, such as building a new natural-gas fueled power plant that will become a long-term commitment to fossil fuel energy use. He was arrested at a sit-in at the office of the university president last year, protesting the university's refusal to divest endowment funds from fossil fuel industries.
At rallies in the past, speakers have been chosen for their prominence and traditional expertise. I expected to hear from the mayor, our activist state representative, or a university professor. Not at this rally!