If Nebraska politicians want Lauren Bloomquist’s vote in future elections, they will need to be committed to action on climate change.
Likewise for Mary Clare O’Connor. And Carli. And T.J.
The demand for action by elected leaders on climate change was sounded repeatedly Friday at a rally outside City Hall in Omaha. The event, which drew more than 300 people, was part of a larger “climate strike” occurring around the globe over the next several days.
“A lot of representatives in Nebraska aren’t taking action,” Bloomquist, 19, said as she held a sign that said “Let’s pause for a moment of science.”
“They need to hear our voice,” she said.
In Omaha, one of the goals of rally organizers was to get the state’s elected leaders to act.
“It’s dangerous to have people in office who don’t believe in climate change,” said Brittni McGuire, an Omaha Central High graduate who is a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “We need to tell them straight up: They’re stealing our future — that’s what they’re doing.”
Many of the kids met at Crossroads Mall to share a bus to and from the rally.
There was even some star power at Omaha’s rally. Elijah Malcomb from the touring production of “Hamilton” attended, as did Adam Metzger of the pop band AJR.
Metzger spoke at the event and called on those attending to study climate change so that they know more than the people they lobby. That’s the way to be effective, he said.
“Do your work,” he said. “Know your (stuff).”
Malcomb attended with another member of the Hamilton troupe.
“This is important,” Malcomb said. “We have one planet, we all live here together ... it’s all of our problems.”
A group of about 500 also gathered outside the Nebraska Union on the UNL campus, organizers said. The group included a mix of college students, children, older residents and representatives of local Native American tribes.
They marched together from the Lincoln campus to the State Capitol on Friday afternoon.
“(Our elders) always told us Mother Earth doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to our future. And so right now the climate is in crisis, and there won’t be a future for the youth. So that’s why we have to stand up for them,” said Michelle Sky Walker of the Omaha Tribe.
McGuire said the marchers have a message for Gov. Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Legislature.
“We are the constituents, and they are here to represent us. And we’re speaking out, and we’re going to keep making noise until they can’t ignore this issue anymore,” she said.
Ricketts said through a spokesman that “Nebraska’s family farmers and ranchers are the original conservationists and do more to protect the environment than almost anyone else in the world.”
“I encourage folks to educate themselves on what we do here in our state instead of adopting the dangerous agenda of a global movement which wants to stop meat production and end our way of life,” Ricketts said.
Similar rallies were to be held in Crete and Kearney and at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines.
The youths want Nebraska to pass a state climate action plan, among other steps.
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That’s what worries those attending the rallies.
Cate Kelly, a 17-year-old senior at Mercy High School who helped organize the Omaha rally, said the future is so uncertain that some of her peers are starting to question whether to have children.
“It raises the question of what will be left when I’m older and what sort of hardships my children will have in terms of fight for natural resources,” she said.
Friday’s events were timed to precede next week’s United Nations Climate Action Summit, which will focus on making the world safer, cleaner and healthier.
World-Herald staff writer Sierra Karst contributed to this report.
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The moon rose over the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge in the early morning hours.
On the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Ed Morrissette a 95-year-old WWII veteran of Papillion, reminisced while toasting to his fallen comrades with a drink accompanied by John Adams, Tom Demro, Antonio Chickinelli and Jeff Hadden at Patriarch Distillers Inc. in La Vista, Nebraska, Thursday, June 6, 2019. Morrissette who was part of the second wave on D-Day at Omaha Beach drank a Canada Dry while the others had Soldier Valley Omaha Beach D-Day 75th anniversary bourbon whiskey.
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Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera signed autographs for fans prior to a Major League Baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, on Thursday, June 13, 2019.
Omaha Burke's Jaylon Roussell jogged the field people to participating in the Nebraska Cornhuskers Friday Night Lights event at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Louisville's Adam Elliott warmed up before the start of game 7 of the College World Series.
Louisville's Drew Campbell celebrated a walk-off win on his hit in the bottom of the 9th against Mississippi State during game ten of the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park.
Te'Andi Titus, left, and Kevin Kalaw, both of Omaha, read on the dock at Standing Bear Lake as a cool breeze swept over the lake, keeping the mosquitoes at bay.
Vanderbilt and Michigan faced off in the College World Series finals at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska in 2019.
Michigan's Jordan Brewer and Jack Blomgren celebrated after defeating Vanderbilt in their College World Series game.
A B-2 stealth bomber flew over as Michigan stands during the National Anthem before their College World Series game.
Vanderbilt faces Michigan during their College World Series game.
Vanderbilt's Harrison Ray signed autographs before the start of game 3 of the CWS championship.
Vanderbilt fans celebrate at the Commodores capture a national title with a win over Michigan.
Michigan players mingled prior to their College World Series game against Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt celebrated their win over Michigan during the third game of the champion series of the College World Series.
Chris Isaak performed at the free Memorial Park Concert at Memorial Park.
Omaha firefighter David Kirchofer provided water to Louie the dog, after Kirchofer helped battle a a fire at 5427 86th Court. Louie, who does not live in the unit that caught fire, was interested in all the action.
Ray Renk of San Francisco, California, holds his daughter Kennedy, 8, alongside his son Benjamin, 10, while sporting personalized suits and watching Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, walk the convention floor during the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting at the CHI Health Center Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska, Saturday, May 4, 2019.
Phoebe the giraffe eats lettuce fed by visitors as the Lincoln Children's Zoo provides a sneak peek at their new exhibits and expansion in Lincoln, Nebraska, Thursday, May 9, 2019.
Lincoln Southeast’s Katie Whitehead, center, and Caroline Miller, right, celebrate with teammates including Ally Keitges, left, after winning the No. 1 doubles against Millard North during the NSAA Class A girls state tennis championship match at Koch Family Tennis Center in Omaha, Nebraska, Friday, May 17, 2019.
Omaha Bryanâ€™s Darwin Loftin lands a long jump during the Metro Conference track meet at Omaha Burke.
Millard West's Corbin Hawkins waits out the rain delay in the dugout. The baseball game between Millard West and Creighton Prep was postponed because of the weather.
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Gretna's Ashley Marsh connects with the ball alongside Marian's Maureen Tolley during the semifinal round of the Class A girls state soccer tournament at Morrison Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska, Saturday, May 11, 2019.
Elkhorn South players celebrate their championship while reading the name plate on the trophy after defeating Skutt during the NSAA Class B girls state soccer championship game Morrison Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska, Tuesday, May 14, 2019.
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Hannah Gruhlkey hugs her goat Griffin as he nibbles on her hair during a Country Bumpkin 4-H Club meeting at the Living Legend Farm.
Chipper Fyfe stands on a dike to see how far floodwaters have risen just west of Hamburg, Iowa.
Nebraska pitchers stay loose before their NCAA Regional game in Oklahoma City.
Tad Badje, 49, right, and wife Shelly Badje, 48, pepper Title Boxing Club's general manager, Chris Gerhardt's mid-section during a two-on-one body shot race as part of their work out at Title Boxing Club in Omaha, Nebraska.
Two-year-old Hannah Bonnot of Denver, Colorado, stands in awe before "Mountain Outlaw" taken at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, on display at Tom Mangelsen's "Life in the Wild" exhibition at the Durham Museum in Omaha, Nebraska.
A deer walks through the tall grass at Chalco Hills Recreation Area in Omaha, Nebraska.
Canada geese fly over Flanagan Lake at sunset in Omaha, Nebraska.
The sunset is reflected in some open water at Flanagan Lake in Omaha, Nebraska.
Ian Murphy, canvases the nearly 90 snow people which are on display at the Leavenworth Park in Omaha, Nebraska. Neighbors such as Murphy say the snow people didn't exist yesterday and claim it happened over night or possibly early this morning.
Husker fans rock The Rock and corn hats in the first half as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln men's basketball team hosts Michigan State at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
An allosaurus appears to be eyeing a tasty, 19-month-old morsel named Austin Haseltine as he is lifted from the shoulders of his grandpa, Greg Fasano, by his mother, Amy Haseltine, with his father, Jim Haseltine looking on. The Dinosaur UpROAR exhibit at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft Street in Omaha, Nebraska, features 20 life-sized installations as well as discovery stations and educational activities set throughout the gardens.
The setting moon is framed by some dried flowers at Lake Zorinsky in Omaha, Nebraska.
A person goes for a run along the snow covered trails at Lake Zorinsky in Omaha, Nebraska.
The sun rises on a snow covered Lake Zorinsky in Omaha, Nebraska.