Sign-waving for the climate crisis

PUHI — Kauai’s youth are adding their mana‘o to the Global Climate Strike on Friday, Sept. 20 in front of Kauai Community College.

They’ll be joining kids and young adults all over the world who are ditching class to send the message to politicians at every level of government to take action on the climate crisis.

Started by environmental activist Greta Thunberg, the Climate Strike has been dubbed “a wake-up call to our own generation” by organizers. Demands include movement on the transition to 100% clean energy and an immediate halt to burning fossil fuels.

On Kauai, organizers say they’re using the Climate Strike as a gathering point for community, as well as sending that climate action message to the county and Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami.

“It’s going to bring people together,” said Laurel Brier, one of the Kauai organizers of the event. “Besides sign-waving, we’ll have youth who will be sharing their perspectives and personal impacts, and how to turn despair into action.”

Sign waving starts at 1 p.m. at the front gate of KCC, and speakers follow until 3 p.m. Then, participants will embark on a four-mile, round-trip bike ride from KCC to Kawakami’s office.

“We want a resiliency plan and for the mayor to have a disaster plan, and I think he’s on board,” Brier said Thursday. “So we’re asking for that, and then a commitment to action, asking people to look at the Aloha+Challenge targets.”

The Aloha+Challenge is an initiative that encourages Kauai community members to pledge to take action in promoting a more sustainable, clean and environmentally conscious Kauai.

Some of the actions include switching to LED bulbs, committing to reducing and reusing materials ahead of recycling, eating and buying local produce, upgrading appliances and buying or leasing electric vehicles.

At the Climate Strike, Brier said the emphasis is also on the importance of community.

“One of the key things this year is (a focus on) the importance of community,” Brier said. “It’s important to know your neighbors, especially in times of catastrophe.”

Before the 1 p.m. sign-waving event, students will be conducting a roadside cleanup from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet at the KCC One Stop Center and bring gloves and reusable water bottles, and wear bright shirts.


Jessica Else, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or


Editor’s note:

This story was edited to remove a paragraph that said the mayor would be delivering a declaration.

  1. Charlie Chimknee September 15, 2019 8:37 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    It seems OxyMoronic to “ditch” school while protesting for FREE EDUCATION.

    Grammar School and High School are already free and have been; in addition students generally do not work during those years.

    College is preparation during highest education to get a higher paid job, it makes only sense to work during college years to afford tuition and support yourself doing what you are preparing for…WORK. Most graduate from 4 year colleges at 22 years…WELL…

    Not working for 22 years, or a 1/3 of your life’s work term is not preparing to be a worker. Especially it ain’t cool if you are collecting welfare or food stamps or free housing during that time. And whose paying for it, the working people with no benefit ever of a higher education. And if you are working there’s reason to pay your tuition. It may be time to speak of reasonable cost of education, but isn’t that calculated on a capitalistic standpoint? How much should your professor be paid who paid their own tuition? Less? To make it easier for students looking for easy.

    Maybe colleges need more night classes, more online classes, or students taking more years to get a college degree. Why should working peoples’ taxes pay for lazy students who take only 12 units or hours a week of class?

    It’s mentioned the Mayor should have a Disaster Plan. How do you prepare for and pay for subtle elevation in sea water, or drought that occurs if the sky does not have enough water for rain with global warming?

    How do we continue promoting our incomes and tourism at the same time by having visitors double or more than that the hours a day on the road in rental cars increasing fossil fuel emissions from those cars?

    What fossil fuel products can be eliminated that would impact health to all? Eliminating fossil use for sports? Biking to school? Laurel Would Go…!

    Fossil fuels when consumed by humans are carcinogenic, cancer causing, is it time to eliminate fossil fuel products for human consumption ? A popular heartburn medication is just now suspect of causing Cancer, what about all the food additives and prescription and over the counter medication containing fossil fuel…petrochemicals…every person in America eats some processed foods with petrochemicals, and 80% use medication drugs many of which have petrochemicals, and people take those cancer chemicals without even thinking of it or eliminating them from the market and drug stores. And why do drug stores and pharmacies out number Health Food Stores? Maybe there’s not enough hippies?

    Instead of having chemicals and sugar with corn or wheat in it, maybe it’s time to just have corn or wheat, etc., without the chemical and sugar. Well that’s a novel thought…!

    Sure, change those light bulbs, but then that increases use of electricity made from burning fossil fuels. Instead what about turning off the street lights on Kaua’i after a certain hour, that would save burning fossil fuel on Kaua’i. Most Kaua’i roads do not need all night street lights, after all the Night Marchers are gone and the late night walkers only serve to make every dog in the neighborhood go off as the walker passes their house. At all hours of the night… Sheeeeesh…!

    Strikes, marches, protests, sign waving may bring attention to a need and a distraction for drivers, but better to get together to bring forward ideas and doable actions that halt or reverse the problem.

    Remember all disease, especially fossil fuel/petrochemicals, and many fossil fuel abuse problems are a process, the process needs dissecting and taken apart or reveresed to understand how to slow, halt, or end its accumulative process and get to the cause and either eliminate it, avoid, or prevent it when can.

    When it comes to Disease Care, the daily dosages and uses of medication made from fossil fuel/petrochemicals only serves to perpetuate the disease process and at the very least creates other and new side effects that TV Ads well teach us about. The perfect example is the new discovery that what people thought was a simple over the counter heartburn medication, that many people use while continuing to eat heart burn causing foods, now that medication is claimed to give people the added benefit of cancer…and it’s free all inclusive for the same price.

    But don’t worry, Bernie is gonna give you free healthcare. Vote Bernie he has the solution…it’s all free, no one pays. You wonder is he secretly making a deal with China to pay for our kids’ tuition and health care?

    After all we have been paying for the build up of China’s military with all our Walmart Purchases. Didn’t Trump get Mexico to pay for the wall?

    Lucky we live Kaua’i where who cares…!

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