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Climate awareness rally set for Friday

JOHNSTOWN — A local Climate Awareness Rally — in conjunction with a worldwide effort — will be conducted from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday downtown.

According to organizer Jahnn Gibson, the rally will be held at the bandshell in the Sir William Johnson Downtown Park off West Main Street. She said that students and young people worldwide are concerned that older generations are doing nothing about climate change.

“Global warning is going to ruin their future,” Gibson said.

Speakers due to participate in Friday’s rally include: Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson, Gloversville 5th Ward Supervisor Gregory Young, Johnstown 4th Ward Councilman Scott Jeffers and Johnstown Common Council candidate Maxwell Spritzer.

In a flyer circulating in the area, organizers urge the public to join in with Friday’s Johnstown rally.

“There will be rallies and marches in all major cities and in Albany, N.Y.,” the flyer says. “The purpose is to heighten awareness to the dangers of global heating resulting from carbon emissions that are released into our atmosphere.”

The flyer states that Sept. 20 to 27 has been designated as Climate Change Awareness Week in conjunction with a “student strike” planned in some communities.

Gibson noted that 16-year-old Swedish high school student Greta Thunberg, an environmental activist who is credited with raising global awareness of the risks posed by climate change, “became very depressed, angry and frustrated that adults were doing very little to mitigate global warming.”

She gave up school and sat outside, with other students eventually joining Thunberg. A “school strike” the young people held went worldwide, Gibson said.

“Greta has spoken before the European Union, the British Parliament and the United Nations,” Gibson stated. “This is all the more remarkable because Greta is autistic and doesn’t like to talk. But she is frightened and frustrated and is compelled to put her message across.”

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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