Youth Climate Strike activists ZMFK, Arielle Martinez Cohen, Kevin Patel, adult ally Andy Shrader and Jesús Villalba at Burton Chace Park

Many teens are worried about the future — not just college applications, impending student debt, crushing housing costs and the desperation of the gig economy, but the near certainty that they will also be aging into a world of climate catastrophe.

A handful of local students gathered in Burton Chace Park on June 1 to stage one of many coordinated Youth Climate Strike press conferences around the country that aimed to keep public attention on Juliana v. United States. The lawsuit filed by 21 youth activists argues the federal government’s failure to protect their generation from the impacts of climate change violates their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property.

“We decided to come to the marina because it’s one of the low-lying places threatened by rising sea levels,” said demonstrator Arielle Martinez Cohen, a student at New West Charter School. “The science points to a lot of challenges in the next few decades, like up to a billion climate refugees by 2050, and it’s crazy to think I will be alive at that time.”

Youth Climate Strike is recruiting members via social media and

— Joe Piasecki