The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


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Climate change concert makes waves

K. Isabel
High school plaintiffs from the Held vs. the State of Montana and Juliana vs. The United States Government court cases discuss their advocacy work and the impact of fossil fuel use on youth at the Earth Day concert to End Fossil Fuels.

 The Earth Day concert to End Fossil Fuels occurred in Washington D.C. the weekend before Earth Day on April 20 along with musical performances, community members gave speeches on climate change. The organization that hosted the event was Action Network and Earth Day DC. Driven by her passion for climate activism, freshman Nethra Purushothaman helped organize the event.

We need strength in numbers. Climate change is something that cannot be polarized or political,” Purushothaman said.

Purushothama stays involved with the climate movement in various ways. She has worked with local policymakers on climate issues. 

“I talk to county officials and legislators to pass climate laws, get solar panels for our school and mandate climate change in the school curriculum. I’ve testified and given speeches in front of the school board, and the Virginia General Assembly for bills around solar and climate education,” Purushothaman said.

Along with attending the concert, Purushothaman participated in climate protests. 

 “We also protested in front of the White House to tell the Biden administration and the courts to let the federal lawsuit go to trial. The government has been blocking these climate cases because they don’t want young people to expose what’s happening behind the scenes. We are pushing for real climate action for our futures,” Purushothaman said.

In addition to local initiatives, Purushothaman has joined larger youth-led organizations in the climate movement, such as Fridays for Future. She encourages students interested in the climate crisis to take collective action with a group. 

The concept of taking individual actions like recycling and turning off the lights was a plan created by fossil fuel companies to push the blame onto everyday people. The best way to help the environment is through advocacy and direct action. This can be protesting or testifying and advocating for bills like a Green New Deal or a Climate Emergency. It can be creating art or music about climate change and sharing it with people – but do it as a group. Fridays for Future is a great youth group to join for climate action,Purushothaman said.

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