Congrats to the Saint Paul Public Schools class of 2033. The class of 2033 just finished what was for many their first year of school and did so in the face of numerous challenges. The class of 2033 faced near constant changes in learning platforms. Many faced food insecurity, housing instability, the loss of loved ones and all faced at least some level of family stress. In spite of it all, the class of 2033 pushed forward and made it through.
While I would like to think the worst challenges are behind the class of 2033, I know that not to be true. In particular, when we look at the planet’s current path regarding climate change, we know those challenges will likely worsen.
Without bold and aggressive action to address our changing climate we know food insecurity will worsen, housing instability will increase, health conditions for kids and families will deteriorate and extreme weather will disrupt their overall learning. Sadly, the class of 2033 already knows how weather can impact the school year and disrupt peer relationships.
The only positive to this bleak outlook for the class of 2033 is that it could still change. However, to make that outlook brighter the class of 2033 needs the adults in their lives to demand historic change and movement towards climate justice.
One current solution available to SPPS is to embrace and develop community solar gardens on SPPS facilities. In doing this SPPS can take a tangible step to improve the environment for the class of 2033.
In summary, I wonder what the class members of 2033 will say as they finish high school in June 2033?
Will they say “Our parents, teachers and elders did everything they could and acted quickly to give us a healthy future”?
Or will they say, “Our parents, teachers and elders were too slow to act and now we have to suffer”? None of us knows the answer to those questions but each of us has a voice to influence that outcome.
I encourage all of us to make our voices heard. If you have not already, you can sign the SPFE petition for SPPS Solar at https://forms.gle/czNCUYt8QxRctmLL7.
Also, you can speak to school district administration and board members about this and other climate actions. Whatever you do, we must remember time is short and the class of 2033 can’t wait for us any longer.