Yale FES students Danielle Lehle, Tristanne Davis, and Julia Luthringer marching for climate through Times Square. Photo by Pilipp Arndt.

Marching for Climate with F&ES

This past Sunday was a big day for environmentalists, as people gathered in city centers across the globe to raise awareness for the growing need for management and policy that accounts for anthropogenic climate change. I was lucky enough to be at the march in New York City, along with a handful of other F&ES students, and walked in solidarity with over 300,000 other people demanding action be taken on the climate crisis. The event has since been monikered “The Largest Climate March in History,” and has been covered by most of the world’s high-profile news agencies.

As I was standing at 70th Street, between skyscrapers and the park, singing and chanting with other F&ES students, and meeting Yale Alums (who upon seeing our large hand-painted signs, would come over and exuberantly introduce themselves, proudly boasting their class year and reveling in memories of New Haven), I thought about the culture here at school and how it plays into the world around us.

So far, it’s been so easy to get caught up in the grad school culture of endless classes, SIG meetings, guest speakers, homework, and readings, that I think I’ve gotten a little bit lost in the microcosm of our home here at Kroon Hall. Every conversation I have is with other F&ES students or faculty, and it’s usually about things that are happening here. It becomes easy to forget that there’s a whole world outside of F&ES, outside of Yale, New Haven, and the US.

While marching through Times Square behind the F&ES banner, alongside people from all walks of life, I was reminded that the Yale F&ES community extends far beyond Prospect Street. Not only are we a community here on campus, but, now that we’re learning how to become better stewards for the environment, we’ve also joined the ranks of environmentalists across the country and world, working for a better and more sustainable future. Our network is astounding; it consists of current students taking classes here at the school, and also connects us with alumni from F&ES and the other schools here at Yale, friends who have friends who went to Yale, and people who recognize our school as a haven for environmental stewardship and who enthusiastically strike up a conversation, ask questions, and develop a relationship with us.

With this incredible network, we, as F&ES students, have an immense power and tremendous responsibility to do our best to help the environment and teach others what we have learned. People look to us to answer their questions about climate change, and ask us to take our lessons from class to solve environmental problems across the nation and world.  It obviously is a daunting task, but I have no doubt that after graduation, and after countless conversations with professors, peers, and professionals, we’ll be prepared for it.

Photo by Philipp Arndt.