Students gather for the climate


On Thursday, May 25, more than 200 Island students from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School gathered at Felix Neck to rally around taking climate action and discussing environmental justice issues. 

It was the fifth annual Youth Climate Summit held at the conservation area.

The summit held different discussion and activity groups spread around the wildlife sanctuary that demonstrated sustainability measures to protect the environment. 

Different groups discussed issues like processing eco grief through mindfulness, protecting coastal waterbirds, introducing eco-bricks to repurpose plastic waste, and promoting social justice.

This year’s event was spearheaded and planned by Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School’s (MVRHS) Protect Your Environment (PYE) Club. 

Lyla Solway, a junior at MVRHS and a part of PYE’s organizing team, was excited to talk about farming at the summit. “I am more interested in how we can make farming more sustainable,” she said. Solway differentiates between the different farming practices that are currently in use and the sustainable alternatives to them. Soil erosion, which is caused by tilling of land, is one of the major concerns in farming. Solway says that using alternative practices like terracing (meaning farming on a slope), planting more cover crops, and using organic fertilizers will replenish the soil’s nutrients. 

Other students at the summit discussed the idea of eco-bricks. The bricks are made by stuffing plastic water bottles with other, everyday-use plastics, which can then be repurposed for construction projects. 

Emily Gazzaniga, a former member of the PYE club that spearheaded the first annual Youth Climate Summit, took part in the eco-bricks discussion. She said that Felix Neck could ultimately reuse plastics found on the beach. “The goal is that with the finished products, Felix Neck will be able to use them for construction projects,” Gazzaniga said.

There was also discussion about social justice in the environmental movement during the event.

The keynote speaker was Marcia Macedo, water program director and associate scientist for Woodwell Climate Research Center.

Also new this year, there were over 500 students participating in climate action and social justice activities and informational sessions at the regional high school on the same day, away from Felix Neck.

“Last year’s event was inspiring, but mainly focused on discussion,” said senior Annabelle Brothers. “This year, that inspiration is taken to action around the MVRHS campus, with students participating in hands-on activities to promote sustainability and social justice at school. As we continue to learn about climate justice and social justice, the places where each movement intersects becomes more apparent, and now is the perfect time to build momentum within the student body to fight such relevant issues to our community.”


  1. “groups discussed issues like processing eco grief through mindfulness”. What a bunch of nonsense. If they are that worried about climate change destroying the planet they should suck it up and get back to science class to help solve the problem. In a way it’s embarrassing that students living on one of the wealthier islands in the world are so caught up in obviously first world worries.

    • You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that the burning of trillions of tons of fossil fuel is altering the climate.
      But you can be as dense as a brick and deny it.
      Thanks for finally calling it a “problem”. There may be some hope.
      But I will give credit to those wealthy students for understanding that they are a major part of the problem -The carbon footprint of an American citizen is 8 times that of a citizen of India, for example–. They also understand that the least wealthy and least responsible will suffer the most.
      Yet the willfully ignorant will mock them for caring and blame India.

    • You solve problems by bringing attention to them.
      The children are the future.
      Just keep putting them down for their concerns.

  2. Yeah it’s disgusting when first world kids show concern about the pollution in the third world.

  3. No nothing students at a secular school jump on the hysteria bandwagon instead of thinking clearly on how to mitigate, pros and cons, and not spend trillions. Ask them if they would like to donate say 400 dollars a year to help–each of them, and see if they pony up.

    • andy– “no nothings”?
      Aren’t all public schools secular ?
      Remember , I went to catholic school.
      I was lied to about so many things, I am now a Pastafarian.
      Do you really think that raising every roadway , every house and every business in coastal areas is going to be cheap ? Prevent salt water intrusion into coastal aquifers ( like ours ) is going to be cheap ? Maintaining our beaches, our fisheries, our agriculture, rebuilding after more severe weather on a constant basis is going to be cheap ?

      I find it amazing that someone who knows a little about economic issues would be able to completely ignore the actual facts, and conclude that it is better and cheaper to do anything but reduce the use of fossil fuels.
      And by the way, you could “pony up” that thousand dollars you owe to the hospital anytime.

      • Catholic schools gave discipline but not good theology. I believe we are getting warmer but I am not hysterical about the solution and we can do many things before depriving people of fossil fuels which lift people out of poverty by the millions.

        • Andy– Catholic schools were /are abusive in every way imaginable.
          Their version of “discipline” was /is sadistic. And they were / are teaching Christian theology. I guess we agree on that– not good– not good at all .

          I will opine that building millions of large windmills will lift more people out of poverty than burning fossil fuels. In fact, the burning of fossil fuels and the the inevitable consequences of that in the form of rising sea levels and large scale agricultural failures will drive more into poverty than lifting them out in the long run. Just look at the numbers of climate refugees already on the move with nothing but what they can carry.

          But , ok– tell me a few of the many things we can do to mitigate the warming planet before we deprive people of fossil fuels.

    • What disheartens me most (your comment excluded) is the lack of rational discourse about the cost/benefit of the proposed (and in progress) solutions to an inadequately described problem. At best we see hyperbolic virtue signaling, hysteria and shaming by the usual suspects.

      • The problem can be adequately described in hindsight, anything in the future is just guess.

      • John– there is plenty of rational empirical evidence to have rational discourse. Are you serious that the problem is “inadequately described” ?
        You can’t have a rational discussion if one party chooses to disregard all evidence that is contrary to their pre formed opinions.
        Let me cite an example for you
        Here is a pretty good analysis of the cost of action vs inaction of dealing with the rapidly changing climate:
        It takes such things into account as flooding to coastal cities, agricultural losses from drought and flood, hurricanes, fires, death rates from extreme heat waves etc. Even the number of jobs created to transition to a cleaner source of energy.
        Note that there are many things that are highlighted in red, that provide links to the methodology and results of peer reviewed studies, news stories, analysis by organizations and other INFORMED entities.

  4. Would the US be better off if all of our children went to Yeshivas, Schools of the Cross, and Madrassas?
    What about Eastern Religion schools?

  5. Judeo-Christian schools yes Hess. Secular schools indoctrinate and increasingly are failing.

      • Hess
        A scientist must have faith in the reliability of his senses and instruments, must have faith in the applicability of mathematics to the physical world, must have faith in the regularities of nature, must have faith in his ability to think and reason, and must have faith in the trustworthiness of his colleagues.

    • Andy– I went to a Christian school.
      The definition of indoctrination is
      “the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.”

      If telling prepubescent children that the only “true god” is the one they are learning about without questioning it is definitionally indoctrination.
      “You have to have faith” they said. NO QUESTIONS– it’s blasphemy if you even question it.
      God knows everything you do and think they said.
      If you step out of line and do something they deem “bad”, or doubt their teachings, you could spend the rest of eternity ( that’s a long time) being tortured and in excruciating pain caused primarily by being burned.
      Tell me, seriously, do you actually think that is not indoctrination ?
      And that teaching prepubescent children that they should accept people who have different ethnicities, habits and preferences is ??????

      By the way, the catholic school I went to in Westville N.J grades 5-8 has been shuttered for decades.
      The Catholic school I went to in Baltimore MD for grades 2-4 now only serves grades 6-12.

      Enrolment in public schools
      Has risen “From an original count of 40.9 million, public school enrollment has continued to increase since 1980 at a rate of 23.9% (Education Data Initiative [EDI], 2020).
      Enrollment generally had soaring rates between 2010 to 2019 with nearly 48.2 million students in fall 2010 and 49.2 million students in fall 2019 (NCES, 2020).”

      Private schools , which are mostly in the Judeo Christian tradition have seen their rates drop.
      There are 34,576 Christian schools in the U.S with 4.9 million students.
      It must be a bit disconcerting for those who think America is a Christian country to know that only 10 % of children are being indoctrinated in the correct way.

      But you have been indoctrinated for long enough to believe that what you think is correct, regardless of the facts. No one needs to no them anyway.
      That is the point of indoctrination.

  6. Keller you made my point with your first sentence. Enrollment does not indicate truth. Yes it is disconcerting that large swaths of the population are learning how to put condoms on bananas and fly the pride flag. Every metric shows that public schools are failing and the US is way down the list of excellence. Learning a God centered world view is preferrable to a man centered world view.

  7. Keller, by the end of the century the world will be at least 3 to 10 times richer and GDP will at most lose 2 to 4 percent due to warming so warming will hurt a little but its effect is mitigated by the enormous wealth the world will have viz today. Investment in technology will take care of things nicely. We used to hunt for whales to get oil to light our lamps in 1860, but later some guy found oil in Pennsylvania and here we are. Keller you think the world is static. The Dutch built huge barriers 50 years ago and are now helping Texas build a huge 32 billion coastal barrier. We mange issues, we dont usually eradicate problems we manage them and so we will with climate.

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