In a push for a change in policy regarding global warming, thousands of people around the country — including Pasadena area residents and students — are expected to participate in more than 2,500 events nationwide in the first Global Climate Strike on Sept. 20.

Locally, students at the Sequoyah School in Pasadena will hold a protest that Friday, and thousands are expected to rally in Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles.

The strike comes just before an emergency UN crisis summit in New York. According to the summit website, UN Secretary-General António Guterres is calling on all leaders to come to New York on Monday, Sept. 23 with “concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.”

According to National Geographic, scientists claim there is indisputable evidence that the planet has been getting warmer.

Most believe that human activity, in particular the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, has led to the changes.

Over the past decade, scientists have documented record-high temperatures along with melting glaciers, rising temperatures in the ocean and increased water levels.

“These protests won’t solve the climate crisis alone,” the site states. “What this moment can do is demonstrate that people are no longer willing to continue with business as usual. The urgency of the climate crisis requires a new approach and a just response centered on human rights, equity, and justice.”

In October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a chilling report that could serve as a wakeup call for US leaders.

In that report, some 90 climate scientists from 40 countries said that if humans don’t take immediate, collective action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040, the consequences will be irreversible and alter the natural systems of the planet.

With increased heat-trapping carbon in the atmosphere will come more natural disasters, including droughts, famine, wildfires, floods and hurricanes.

In order to prevent that catastrophic future, global carbon emissions will have to be reduced by 40 percent by 2030.

Last year, dozens of wildfires burned out of control across the state, including the largest fire in the California history, the Mendocino fire which charred 459,123 acres.

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