Biden honeymoon is over: Morristown youths say it’s time to save the planet

Students from the Sunrise Movement stage die-in outside Morristown town hall, demanding politicians act to halt human-induced climate change, Jan. 21, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin


Honeymoon’s over, Mr. President. Time to save the planet!

That was the message from a handful of students who staged a “die-in” outside Morristown town hall on Thursday, one day after Joe Biden was sworn in as the nation’s 46th president.

Never mind that Biden already had signed several pro-environment executive orders, including one returning the United States to the Paris climate accord.

Event organizer Miles Gorman,  a Frelinghuysen Middle School 8th grader, wants Biden to endorse the aggressive Green New Deal of New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“Millions upon millions of lives” are at stake, said Gorman, struggling against a frosty January wind to affix a “Climate Action Now!” banner to a flagpole.

“We need our representatives to know we will not sit by idle while they ignore the problem…we are the next generation, and it’s our time to rise to ensure we can start the decade of the Green New Deal and secure millions of green jobs for everybody,” said the student, who pedaled to town hall on his Climate Strike Bike.

Gorman said he’s Morris County “hub organizer” for the national Sunrise Movement, an environmental nonprofit for people under 35.  Clutching placards proclaiming themselves victims of floods, famines, wildfires and asthma, Gorman and three masked friends briefly assumed corpse poses for an audience of two.

Their inspiration is climate activist Greta Thunberg. In a tweet Thursday, the Swedish teenager mocked Sen. Ted Cruz for opposing the United States’ return to the Paris agreement.

“Greta has shown us, and shown the world, that young people do know things, and young people can make changes. She’s really inspired a lot of us to come out here and to do this,” said Rey Watson, a sophomore at Hunterdon Central Regional High School.

Morristown High freshman Elise Hinrichs said she is determined to hold elected officials accountable.

“I want a chance at a livable future. I have big dreams. I want to be able to do things in life. I can’t do that if our elected officials refuse to acknowledge that our planet is dying because of what we are doing,” she said.

As the students’ banner rippled in the wind, a pickup truck blew by with two banners of its own: An upside-down U.S. flag, and a flag emblazoned with an epithet against Biden.

Truck rolls past pro-climate rally on South Street with upside-down U.S. flag and anti-Biden flag, Jan. 21, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

If you’ve read this far… you clearly value your local news. Now we need your help to keep producing the local coverage you depend on! More people are reading Morristown Green than ever. But costs keep rising. Reporting the news takes time, money and hard work. We do it because we, like you, believe an informed citizenry is vital to a healthy community.

So please, CONTRIBUTE to MG or become a monthly SUBSCRIBER. ADVERTISE on Morristown Green. LIKE us on Facebook, FOLLOW us on Twitter, and SIGN UP for our newsletter.

[interactive_copyright_notice float='left']
[icopyright_horizontal_toolbar float='right']


  1. Oh to be young…a die-in? Cute. I hope the experience will be something they can write about in their college essay. Everyone should acknowledge climate change is real; it is. But the left (and these students) is/are more obsessed with debate than a solution. Did these students even read the Green New Deal? It’s more principles than policy. The ideas need to be better baked and the timeline is completely unreasonable without concrete policies to implement. It will only be attainable after it becomes law and then we need REAL policies, but also you have to stretch the timeline to 2050 (at least), not 2030 for the first measures. AOC’s unrealistic Resolution (which failed with 0 yea votes to support it – most dems voted “present” since there was no experts called, testimony, etc) plus Biden’s executive action to rejoin the Paris climate accord and kill the Keystone pipeline is mostly form over substance. These actions do very little to solve a global environmental problem. It bears mention that since 2000 or so, the U.S. has already led the world in reducing energy-related emissions – those were real implemented solutions. AOC doesn’t really acknowledge that (using stats over a much longer timeline), but much of those reductions were accomplished via replacing coal with natural gas (found by fracking – which Biden will cease on Fed lands). The thing is that there is so little to the Paris commitment for other nations as each nation sets their own goals. Presently, the Paris Agreement doesn’t require China to cut ANY emissions for another decade and they are on pace to continue to rise with no inflection point in sight. Same for Russia. The US killing Keystone and rejoining the Paris Agreement will cost our economy jobs and investment, will enrich our competitors in China and Russia, and most importantly it will NOT keep the resources in the ground. The day after Biden signed his executive order, the operator of Keystone laid off 1000 workers and the Canadians tabled, if not lost, their investment in the existing pipe. Biden and AOC don’t think anything of it. They let regulation and permitting do their bidding. They stuck to their guns and reverse Trump’s doing. (Dems cheer!) I think we need to keep the environment as a priority, but Dems and the left are obsessed with the fight, not any solution. Save the planet by hurting our pocket and Canada, then enriching China and Russia by providing them with uncontested resources, minerals etc? Now, there’s something to protest.