What’s Your Climate Story? Part 2

Thank you to all for sharing your climate stories! We are eager to know how you use them to build your ally networks and as part of your advocacy to transition your campus communities to 100% renewable energy. Check out STF’s Green Schools Campaign materials for more resources.

Here are four more stories to help you think about how climate change is impacting your community:

“Since I have not always lived near my LAUSD schools, there were years when I would have a two to three hour car commute home. I was uninterested in these time-consuming rides, having nothing to play with and constantly getting car sick. Looking out the window held my interest, there were endless things to see. It was not until I reached middle school that I realized I had been occupied by the trash on the ground, the foggy and unclear air, the wild amount of cars on the road, and the unnecessary signs and lights I saw daily. There are millions of people surrounded by an unhealthy environment without even being aware of it. It has been normalized and hidden in plain sight.”
– Victoria Valdez, 9th grade, Hamilton High School

“I have always been obsessed with nature and the environment, finding fulfillment in being surrounded by nature and animals. I love standing on the beach, enjoying my feet in the sand, the cold water crashing into my shins, but am devastated when I turn around and look helplessly at the massive oil field. I imagine what it would be like to not know there is a rapidly shrinking window to protect the natural world I hold so dear. But it’s a truth we all have to face. I hope future children won’t have to carry the same environmental concerns as youth today. That’s why I’m using my privilege to fight for the environment, for animals and their rights, for future children, for plants, for minorities and the oppressed/unheard, for everyone. We are all impacted by the destruction of the environment, therefore we must all fight for a sustainable future.” – Dane Pearson, 11th grade, Culver City High School
“People have debated climate change my whole life. Deniers ignore the fact that temperatures are hitting record-levels and that entire species are dying faster than new ones evolve. One climate change topic important to me is environmental racism. I have learned about fast fashion: how large, Western corporations exploit third-world countries, their manufacturing wreaking havoc on the local communities, degrading their environments because it’s cheaper to build factories there than in the West. STF intern Josiah Edwards’ video highlighting environmental racism in my own community opened my eyes to how climate change is affecting my friends, family and neighbors. Raising awareness and education in my school community, in the town that I’ve grown up in, is the first step in taking action for our future on this planet.” – Noelle Guzman, 12th grade, Carson High School
“Growing up, I had no idea about the urgency of the climate crisis, until a girl my age spoke up: Greta Thunberg. As I saw youth take center stage in environmental activism, I decided not to shy away or stay silent. I have traveled internationally. I have had the opportunity to cherish the colorful, strong-scented streets of Mexico City and the lush, green forests of England. I wouldn’t feel the same about climate change without these experiences. Climate change makes me feel a range of emotions: relief that people are coming together and spreading awareness; and uneasy about the alarming rate at which these dangers are increasing. I also feel inspired to make a difference. This planet should be seen by every person as a source of happiness and hope. As Greta Thunberg says, ‘You must not gamble your children’s future on the flip of a coin. Instead, you must unite behind the science. You must take action. You must do the impossible. Because giving up can never ever be an option.’” – Isabel Umekubo, 12th grade, Da Vinci Schools

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