On Saturday November 18th, young people from across the state of Wisconsin gathered to take part in a nationwide ‘Day of Dedication’ in which young people from around the country collected items to contribute to 50 year climate legacy time capsules. Each individual was invited to contribute an item which signifies why they are fighting for climate justice or what it is they have to lose to climate change.
Laura Donovan, a leader within the youth climate movement ‘Sunrise’ explained, “Sunrise is here to stop climate change and create millions of jobs in the process. A huge part of that for me is about building community. Today, we’re coming together with others to remind ourselves of what’s at stake, hold it in our hearts, and dedicate ourselves to standing with each other and for communities of the future.”
The Day of Dedication held in Madison, WI today was strategically held in conjunction with over 20 other ‘Day of Dedication’ events across the country. The dedication was also purposefully held during the climate talks in Bonn, Germany. where the U.S. sits as the only country in the world to abstain from the 2015 Paris Climate Accords. Collectively, these events have sent a message to leaders home and abroad that young people will not allow their futures to be wreaked by their greed and insolence. Already in the past week, young activists have pushed back against dangerous and corrupt attempts by US officials to market pro fossil fuel policies at COP23. In the same spirit, young people in Wisconsin are seeking to hold their elected officials responsible for protecting their home and future here.
UW-Stout alumni, and speaker, Gunther Melander explained, “This is an important point in history for Wisconsinites. Our natural resources are at risk from cooperation looking to take advantage of us, and I’ll do anything to keep that from happening. I’ll do anything to protect our home”
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was invited to today’s events, but declined the invitation and did not respond to request that he speak out in favor of the Paris Climate Accords. Consequently, a letter reflecting the governor’s inaction will be included in each time capsule.
Justin Moen, a high schooler at Menomonie High School and speaker at the event, reiterated the importance of calling out those elected officials who are not representing the interests of their constituents saying, “This movement is important to me because I believe that in order for us to have a future in which we can survive; we need to hold our politicians accountable for what they are allowing to happen to the environment, and to stop climate change before it’s too late.
The collected items will be sent to NYC to be buried until 2067, at which time they will be returned to Madison and reopened.
Photo opportunity: Young people filling time capsules with messages for the future about climate change today and information about state leaders who supported or resisted climate change action.
This event is part of a series of national ‘Day of Dedication’ Events organized by the Sunrise Movement; a youth lead climate movement holding elected officials responsible while creating jobs for young people. Find out more at: https://www.sunrisemovement.