Citizens send messages from Hiroshima, express grave concern over global warming

by Fumiyasu Miyano, Staff Writer

Inspired by the recent actions of Greta Thunberg, who sparked a global “school strike” movement in support of the environment, some Hiroshima residents began their own initiatives this past September 20 to voice their own opinions in support of Ms. Thunberg’s platform. Activities such as those in Central Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park were part of a chain of moves by international youth demonstrating prior to the September 23 New York opening of the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations. Ms. Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish student and activist, has been urging adults to take measures to counter global warming.

At the Motoyasu River Sinsui Terrace, across from the Atomic Bomb Dome, Joy Jarman-Walsh, a social entrepreneur who lives in Higashi Ward of Hiroshima, met with friends and family to support the cause. They spoke to tourists and asked them to write messages on sheets of drawing paper and cardboard. Tourists wrote, “Keep this planet blue,” or “What will you do?” among other messages. Photos and videos of this event will be uploaded online.

Felix Walsh, 17, Joy Jarman-Walsh’s son and second-year student at AICJ High School, expressed grave concern over global warming, saying, “It is as if the entire Earth were enveloped in flames. This is an emergency.”

Steven Leeper, 71, former chairperson of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, began a sit-in protest near the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims the same day. His protest is being held daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through September 27. Mr. Leeper is encouraging people to join him.

(Originally published on September 21, 2019)