Across Washington, thousands of students and workers walked out of classrooms and offices Friday in protest of bad climate policies nationally and globally.

This international movement will no doubt help boost awareness of the urgent need to combat climate change. Gov. Jay Inslee has declared his support for the protest, which is timed to spotlight next week's United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York.

Little hope exists that the protest will sway hearts and minds within President Donald Trump's policy team. But the walkout will help the wider world visualize how children will bear increasing consequences of climate change. Swift, decisive political action could improve this. But that requires the thousands of marchers to leverage their numbers and get civically involved. That means registering to vote and voting.

Voting-eligible Washingtonians can register online, at county offices or by mail. Even the 16- and 17-year old high school students marching for change can pre-register with state or county government, or at classroom events in January. King County elections officials estimate that about 18% of the population eligible to vote is unregistered. This must be improved.

Change requires action. Every eligible climate marcher has an opportunity to be part of the solution.

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