Your Climate Story

Sharing your climate story can provide context to WHY you’re concerned about climate change. Your climate story:

  • Is a personal story about you and your experience with climate change.
  • Can be as short as 50 words, up to 150 words.
  • Consider these questions to get you started:
    • Where has your passion for the environment come from?
    • Was there a pivotal experience you had in life that made you realize how serious climate change is? (i.e., having to evacuate your home because of fires, somebody you know has asthma, seeing a film about climate change, a news report, a science class, etc.)
    • Are you worried about your future? Why?
    • How have the current effects of climate change affected your life?
    • Why do you want to transition your school to renewable energy?
    • How would it make you feel if your school made the commitment to transition to clean, renewable energy?
Hi everyone, my name is Josiah Edwards. I’m an STF intern and this is my climate story. As a child, I always had difficulty breathing. That’s mostly because I had asthma, but it was made even more difficult because of the environment I lived in. Los Angeles County is ranked as one of the worst places in terms of air quality and air pollution. That means that I had difficulty breathing every day as a consequence of the horrible, horrible pollution in our air. That means, I didn’t get the chance to enjoy beautiful days like this one, and I don’t think that’s right. No child should have to suffer because we don’t know how to deal with pollution. That’s why we need to tackle this climate crisis, with the full force that we possibly can muster, in order to ensure that children don’t have to suffer like I did. (Click to watch, 0:57)
Hi, my name is Erin Vinson and I attend Santa Monica High School. I believe my passion for the environment is an accumulation of everything I’ve witnessed in terms of photos of our dying planet, as well as tangible experiences I’ve had with it. David Attenborough’s “A Life on Our Planet” truly struck me as a thundering call to take action for our environment, providing a voice for our melting glaciers and our dying animals who are soon to take their last breaths if we don’t take action now. Rising sea levels and climate change itself makes me feel as though I’m trapped inside a small room that’s rapidly losing air, like I’m suffocating. This feeling was amplified by the all too recent California fires. In many instances, I felt like I couldn’t breathe even weeks after they had been put out. If my school made the transition to clean, renewable energy, I’d feel as though the air would be seeping out of that room just a bit slower, and I’d feel able to have a short moment of relief, because any step of any size towards a cleaner present is progress. (Click to watch, 1:04)
Hello, my name is Abdullah Rafique. I am a senior at Sierra Canyon and this is my story. Cracked desert land had replaced lush farms which had once covered the hills surrounding my grandparents home in Pakistan. The drive which was once full of beauty was now only a reminder of what once was. The land had been destroyed. My uncle described how excessive use of fertilizers caused this grand scale of destruction. While this was not directly caused because of climate change, the lack of environmental care which was fueling climate change was present here as well. Thus, I doubled my efforts to become a better climate advocate. (Click to watch, 0:48)
Hi, my name is Lila Bragard and I’m from Culver City High School. I inhaled the dark brown air around me as I walked through the smoke to get to school. My cousins were evacuating. The Torahs from my temple were being evacuated. My favorite forests, my friends’ homes, my favorite trails and campsites were all burning. This was not nature’s fault. This was not normal. When neighborhoods near me were burning, when I learned that animals were going extinct 114 times faster than usual, when half the world population is supposed to be homeless by the time I’m 65, when there are more environmental refugees fleeing from environmental disasters than political refugees fleeing from wars and other conflicts, when my ability to simply live in a habitable world is at risk – how could I focus on anything else? I fight climate change because it’s real, because not enough is being done about it, and because my life depends on it. I fight climate change because in twenty years when it’s too late, I don’t want to look back and regret that I didn’t do more. Will you regret that you didn’t do more? (Click to watch, 1:14)
“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, Hamilton High School 2024

“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, Culver City High School 2022
“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, Carson High School 2021
“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, Da Vinci Schools 2021

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