A Curious Case of Climate Activism – Part II

 If you are now wondering about the prequel to this title, read this

I was as old as Greta Thunberg when I first watched the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”. I distinctly remember being concerned about what we’d done to our planet, collectively, as human beings. I also worried about what the future had in store for Mother Earth.

Fast forward twelve years, I’m sitting in a plane taking me from SFO to NYC for UNA-USA’s Climate Activist training followed by the Global Climate Strike on September 20, 2019. I’m now watching “Ice on Fire”, a documentary showcasing solutions to our environmental crisis.  Somewhere between An Inconvenient Truth and Ice on Fire, Greta happened.

The Climate Action movement created by Greta Thunberg motivated me to reach out to local organizations. I was fortunate to be selected for the Climate Activist training by the UNA-USA. While there, I found myself among a small intergenerational cohort of like-minded people, eager to learn, share our understanding with the world, and most importantly, take steps for Climate Action.

Anna Mahalak, Youth Engagement Manager of UNA-USA, outlined the programs of Climate Week. She shared tips on how to communicate on climate and engage audiences through  social media. Anna also facilitated splitting us into smaller groups of 2-3 people so we could get to know one another. Then, she had us introduce a member of our group to the whole gathering! I introduced Ruth Miller, an Alaskan-native and activist for Climate Justice and indigenous rights. Ruth is spearheading an initiative to get youth involved in combating climate change.

Brian Mateo from the Bard College for Civic Engagement spoke about how the Climate Crisis relates to  other Sustainable Development Goals. He urged us to think how the Climate Emergency wil limpact  other socio-economic-behavioral aspects of life. Some negative impacts include poorer cognitive performance in schools, greater gender inequality as climate change affects women more than men,  a wider socio-economic divide with the greatest damage inflicted on the poorest people,  and last but not the least, adverse  impacts on health.

Next, Jay’Len Boone, Youth Observer to the United Nations, shared his experience starting a non-profit organization. Jay’Len’s non-profit empowers youth to become entrepreneurs by creating solutions for sustainability.

UNA-USA’s Climate Activist Training was an exhilarating day of learning! I’m excited to educate my social circle about the Climate Crisis and how to put technical skills to use for Climate Action.  My goal is to be a small part of the solution, rather than the problem. I urge you, dear reader, to join this movement!