Mar. 22—FROSTBURG — At Frostburg State University Friday, and around Maryland, students held rallies to urge legislators to act on climate change and secure a livable environment for future generations.
The rally at the Bobcat statue on FSU's campus was something of a climate strike, aimed at bringing awareness to, and an end of, broken promises on climate change.
The series of speeches were kicked off by Will Coburn, an FSU student, who keyed in on political gridlock in Washington and hopes to spur people to become more politically active.
"Here in the state of Maryland and specifically Western Maryland, we have state representatives and senators who wish to overturn legislation that banned fracking," said Coburn. "It's simple, so they can make money off the land and in return we get sicker and poorer and our environment suffers."
Next Max Hancock, also an FSU student, gave a speech on climate justice and making a world where access is truly equitable.
"The body and soul of Frostburg, her natives and her students, want too desperately for change and progress to sweep that campus. We aren't going to see that change until every cohort is represented and that relies on the elimination of barriers," said Hancock. "It is not enough to express your intent or state your vision. You have to act on these interns and put in the work to make these a reality."
Laurel Plitnik, who organized the event, spoke last on the sources of pollution around the globe and some ways to combat it.
"We can't see the air right in front of us, yet we know it is there, keeping us alive. This is equivalent to looking at climate over time, impossible to see on the surface level all at once, yet impactful when viewed with scientific evidence to predict trends for our future," said Plitnik. "Since 1950, only 9% of all plastics created have been recycled. Recycling will not solve all of our plastic situation, yet that is not the same as me telling you you shouldn't recycle."
Since 1988, she said, 100 companies are responsible for 70% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. So real change would come from pressuring the corporations into police changes.
It has worked in the past. On Nov. 1 1990, McDonald's went away from giving out food in styrofoam containers, opting for paper after public pressure become too much to bear.
After the event, some of the 30 or so gathered went to the FSU Arboretum to pick up trash and recycling.
Follow staff writer Brandon Glass on Twitter @Bglass13