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Aurora Fennemore


Youth Climate Action


Youth in Action

“I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations to come after us.” said Theordore Roosevelt in his speech to Osawatomie, Kansas in 1910. Over a hundred years ago Teddy Roosevelt recognized a problem that has yet to be fixed. 

There are simple things that anyone can do to help prevent climate change: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Shopping at second hand or vintage clothing stores reduces factory production of new goods, thus reducing our carbon footprint. Instead of going through five plastic water bottles a day which contribute to litter, are hazards to animals, and increase emissions of greenhouse gasses through the production of plastic, use a reusable water bottle. By biking or walking we can reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses produced by gas powered vehicles. But, what more can youth do? Youth are an important voice when it comes to decisions for our country and our future. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. We’ve been wasting our resources, but there are things we can do to change that. 

Deforestation is one of the largest contributors to the climate change problem. Forests are often cleared for paper production and mining. Paper, clothing, and many other products used to be made from hemp. Hemp is a fast growing plant that is proven to absorb more carbon dioxide a year than forests. Forests absorb 2 to 6 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare compared to hemp’s absorption of 8 to 15 according to Cambridge University. The growth of hemp doesn’t require the use of pesticides which contribute to climate change, and hemp paper is more sustainable than wood paper. 

Going through landfills for metals and other natural resources reuses the old and reduces the mining needed for metals used in batteries and other electronics. A reduction in mining also reduces pollution as well as deforestation. And mining our trash for metals is not the only thing we can do to reduce our garbage. Denmark has started using trash incinerators which turn waste into power for heating homes and electricity. The U.S. is one of the largest producers of trash in the world. If we start turning something wasteful into something productive and climate friendly, our carbon footprint would be reduced! 

Youth need to petition, protest, and act in ways conducive to the goal of preventing climate change. We must make our voices heard. Genesis 2:15 states, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” So let us joyfully do what we were commanded to do.