With wildfires ripping through the West Coast of the United States resulting in mass evacuations and lost lives, the deadly impact of climate change is once again, gaining media coverage. It is heartbreaking to hear of families being evacuated and having to return again to the charred remains of their homes and life as they knew it.
Climate change is not just a political conversation, a campaign slogan, or a rallying cry by environmentalists; it's personal too. The after-shocks of a natural disaster influenced by climate change breaks down all the elements that hold society together and what civilizes us. Education, healthcare, the workforce, and all industrial sectors are left reeling, such as in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017.
These days, the future of our planet can seem pretty bleak, but Dr. Jane Goodall (@JaneGoodallInst) wants you to know there's hope. All of us share the responsibility to preserve our planet. The power is in your hands: What are you choosing to do today? Click the link in bio to watch her full talk.
It's almost like a test of leadership capacity and how prepared we are. In the South Indian state of Kerala, the impact of the 2018 flash floods, caused by increased monsoon rains due to climate change, were amplified due to the unregulated management of dams, the deforestation of hilly areas resulting in rising water levels, and the loosening of soils due to mining and quarrying, increasing the risk of landslides. My grandparents and other close family members and friends experienced the effects of the Kerala floods, which seeped into their homes, destroying property and forcing many to evacuate. It was a tense, extremely worrying time for us all.
However, it should not take a global catastrophe, whether it be South Asian floods or Category Five Hurricanes, to be made aware of our planet suffering, and lashing out through natural disasters. What seemed like a distant threat and whose credibility is often contested by some politicians, climate change has once again returned to the forefront of international conversation in recent years, with a vengeance. The climate clock (7 years and 80 days) is ticking...
The Teen Magazine's Voices on Climate Change initiative is a platform for young writers, thinkers, and social shakers to spread climate change awareness to our international community of readers. I've always believed in the positive social impact of journalism when directed towards writing that enlightens, questions, and makes us think about the bigger picture, and go beyond our little bubbles. Climate change is entering our personal bubbles, which is why it is as important now, as it was before, to rise up against the political nay-sayers, “climate change conspiracy” allegations, and stereotypes of the “hippie” environmentalists, and use the written word as our form of activism.
If you're not a writer but are still geared up to join the global movement, here are a few climate change organizations, created by and for young activists, which you can volunteer to be a part of:
1) The Re-Earth Initiative
Check out our tag line! Re-Imagine 🔭 Re-Connect💡 Re-Define🍃 We need to re-learn the way we lived 🎞️ in order to live in a more sustainable and just world. Stay tuned to see how we want to achieve this! ⏳📌💚 . ➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️ . ¡Mira nuestra etiqueta! Re-imagina 🔭 Re-Conecta💡 Re-Define 🍃 Necesitamos re-aprender la forma en la que nos relacionamos con el planeta 🎞️ para vivir en un mundo más sostenible y justo. ¡Estén atentxs para ver cómo queremos lograr esto! ⏳📌💚
After its successful climate change pledge campaign via digital protests in April 2020, the Re-Earth Initiative is expanding its programs to make climate change activist accessible to all. While youth are becoming more aware of social and environmental issues, there still remains a gap in driving real, concrete change. We want to break the echo chamber and bring climate action to the masses, by hosting informational webinars and writing tool kits (cred.reearthin.org). With its team of climate justice activists spanning across the continents, Re-Earth is accepting volunteer applications for content creation, outreach, etcetera! Click here to find out more.
2) Zero Hour
🔥THE PEOPLE STRIKE AGAIN🔥 Join us for three days of climate action, from April 22nd to April 24th! Back in September, 7 million people around the world took to streets to strike and demand real climate action from elected officials. We know governments won’t deliver climate action and justice on their own, so we’re going on #ClimateStrike to show them the power of the people once again. Will you join the #StrikeWithUs movement? Join Us ➡️: strikewithus.org/join
The mission of Zero Hour is to center the voices of diverse youth in the conversation around climate and environmental justice. Zero Hour is a youth-led movement creating entry points, training, and resources for new young activists and organizers (and adults who support our vision) wanting to take concrete action around climate change. Together, we are a movement of unstoppable youth organizing to protect our rights and access to the natural resources and a clean, safe, and healthy environment that will ensure a livable future where we not just survive, but flourish (cred. thisiszerohour.org). Click here to find out more.
#FridaysForFuture is a movement that began in August 2018, after 15-year-old Greta Thunberg and other young activists sat in front of the Swedish parliament every schoolday for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis (cred. fridaysforfuture.org). Click here to find out more.
4) Earth Guardians
Curious about your environmental impact? Check out our app! EarthTracks offers simple, gamified challenges, to millions of people to lower our personal and collective footprint in order to save the planet. Are you in? Download EarthTracks (link in our bio) and continue making this home better for all 🌍💙 #earthguardians #earthtracksapp #reduceyourfootprint♻️ #climatejustice
Earth Guardians is an intergenerational organization with youth at the forefront that trains diverse youth to be effective leaders in the environmental, climate and social justice movements across the globe — using art, music, storytelling, on the ground projects, civic engagement, and legal action to advance solutions to the critical issues we face as a global community (cred. www.earthguardians.org). Click here to find out more.