Crusading against the climate crisis in Jaffrey

  • Maddy Springfield, left, Erin Weidner, Connor Hart, Abby Wheeler and Megan Wheeler at the Fridays For Future climate protest Friday in downtown Jaffrey. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 12/7/2020 4:50:18 PM

Jaffrey’s one-person-strong climate protest is growing by the week.

Maddy Springfield stood alone in downtown Jaffrey on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving, holding a sign to raise awareness about the climate crisis. Last Friday, she was joined by another four people, and this Friday, she hopes the crowd will grow again as she continues the Fridays For Future climate strike.

Springfield, a recent Bentley University graduate, said she was inspired by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who began a school strike for climate crisis awareness a few years back and eventually spawned the Fridays For Future movement, in which people around the globe participate in localized strikes and demonstrations.

“I came to the realization that I’m not doing enough, and in this area, I don’t think there’s a big enough realization of the crisis that we’re in,” Springfield said. “New Hampshire’s a state that’s done nothing for the climate crisis. [Chris] Sununu is the only governor out of all the New England states who hasn’t done anything for climate change, he hasn’t agreed to cut carbon emissions. I think your average person doesn’t realize we are contributing to this crisis.”

Springfield called for Governor Sununu to join fellow New England states by declaring a climate emergency and making a plan to convert the state to renewable energy.

“His energy plan right now says nothing about climate change,” Springfield said. “The person running our state doesn’t care about us, doesn’t care about our future, or doesn’t care about future generations. We’re letting him know that this is what we want, this is what New Hampshire residents want, we want a change – we want climate legislation like every other state around us. We’re kind of an outlier in New England right now.”

Springfield plans to attend graduate school at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, where she’ll study practical solutions to the climate crisis. Until then, she plans to continue her Fridays For Future protest each Friday at 7:15 a.m. in downtown Jaffrey; she encourages people to join her in person, or virtually through her Fridays for Future Facebook group or through the hashtag #FridaysForFuture.

“Even if you can’t come out for COVID or other reasons, you can still strike online and put it out on your profile,” Springfield said. “This is what’s happening every Friday – we’re striking for the climate.”

Springfield’s Twitter post last Friday got her a retweet from Thunberg’s account and got her message out from Jaffrey, New Hampshireout to Thunberg’s 4.4 million followers worldwide.


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