Jeff Pack
Staff Writer

A little more than a dozen folks that are concerned with the Earth’s climate and the policies that they say are affecting and hurting the planet met up at the Temecula Duck Pond on Friday, Jan. 24. 

Organized by the Climate Action team from the Santa Margarita Group of the Sierra Club, attendees held signs and pickets showing support for protecting the planet’s natural resources. 

“We are here because we feel that the climate is the most pressing, overarching, environmental issue that we’re facing,” Shaul Rosen-Rager of the Sierra Club said. “And even here in Temecula, we hear all about safety and prosperity, but we’re not immune from climate change because if we let climate change continue, it’s going to tear apart our economic system. It’s going to affect everything we’re trying to build here.”

He said the group organized the event as a wakeup call. 

“I think a lot of people know about this, but they live in a sort of denial because people think, ‘What can one person do?’” Rosen-Rager said. “So, this is a little wake-up call. Let’s think about it.”

David Marrett pointed out that another group was at the rally, the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a new chapter in the area, which is a nonpartisan group that works with communities and members of Congress on climate change solutions.

“Citizens’ Climate Lobby is trying to appeal to people from the whole spectrum, but making special attention toward political moderates and conservatives,” Marrett said. “Which I like since we need to sort of depoliticize the climate issue.”

He said it was important for him to show up to show young people that their voices matter. 

“In both cases we’re trying to as much as possible to involve young people and give them sort of hope and let them see how things change,” he said. “That’s the main reason I’m doing it. Me being older, I remember the civil rights movement. I remember the antiwar movement and the early gay rights, all of that stuff, and I remember how things didn’t seem to change, things didn’t seem to change and then all of a sudden they changed.

“I think that’ll happen here. It’s just a matter of when and how.”

Drucina Gonzales is the president of Murrieta Valley High School’s Earth Club and she was rallying with some of her club member classmates. 

“We’re really involved in our community and the word was going around that there was a climate strike, so we tried to get as many people to come out from our school,” she said. “We’re very interested in activism.

“The environment is really important to us generationally,” she said. “We have to grow up in this world. We have to take care of our planet. And when people choose to ignore the problems that we face today it’s our job and it’s our place to educate people and to take the steps toward progress.”

For more information on the Sierra Club’s Santa Margarita Group’s Climate Action team, call (951)-692-0685.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com