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Ava Smoak

Newark High School

               Youth Climate Action                                      


How Can Youths Impact Climate Change?


Climate change is a devastating economic issue that scientists believe is the “biggest global health threat of the 21st century” (Denchak, 2022). The major shift in temperatures and weather patterns has destructive long-term effects that could eventually end the wonders of our planet. In Delaware, climate change is shown primarily in increasing temperatures, rising sea levels, and escalating precipitation levels. Not only are these natural disasters damaging the state’s industries and resources, but it is also threatening the health of residents. As the younger generation develops, they must contribute to protecting our planet as they are the following representatives of change. Whether by posting on social media, protesting, or simply getting involved, youths can make a difference in their communities. Adolescents contribute to climate change in a positive way, but there is still plenty of work needed to preserve our beautiful planet.


            Social media is a powerful tool that can connect billions of people from all around the world. As of 2023, statistics have shown that over 4.9 billion people have access to social media (Ruby, 2023). With the many social media platforms out there, youths have the opportunity to share environmental issues that are currently facing society. For example, since increasing temperatures is a significant problem in Delaware, teens can use accounts from apps like Instagram and TikTok to create a public awareness campaign that explains the cause and effects of the matter. By sharing the information with the public, many individuals become aware and can help create inventive solutions. According to the article, The Power of Social Media to Fight Climate Change, “Through the internet, many ideas, knowledge, and opinions can reach people across the globe and help them get the education and essential services, and spark many innovations and movements” (Andrio and Safrina, 2021). This quote from the reading describes  only a fragment of positive changes social media can bring to the situation. Not to mention,  Delaware is one of the smallest states in North America, so many people are likely unaware of  the environmental issues that occur. Even though some perspectives would say that social media has negative influences and spreads misinformation, using the platforms to discuss real-life climate issues can prevent it. Social media is beloved among adolescents, so it must be used to help educate people on climate issues to motivate change.


            Another way youths can devote themselves to advocating for adjustments in our planet is by peacefully protesting. Regardless if it’s by writing a letter to a company, getting the press involved, or participating in a march, youths utilizing their voice will change the future. It also teaches them life skills as they learn to stand up for themselves. For instance, if a teen was worried about the rising sea levels in Delaware, they could write a letter to a greenhouse gas emissions company explaining the dangerous effects the burning of fossil fuels has on our planet. If multiple teens were to do this, the company might be willing to stop burning fossil fuels. As stated in the article, Youth in Action, “Young people’s unprecedented mobilization around the world shows the massive power they possess to hold decision-makers accountable. Their message is clear: the older generation has failed, and it is the young who will pay in full — with their very futures” (United Nations, n.d.). The quote from the United Nations shows the importance of youths as they represent the next generation. Assuming that the next generation doesn’t advocate for themselves, it could be the end of the wondrous planet we call home. While individuals might point out that people won’t listen to youths since they are young and haven’t fully developed, they are the representatives of our futures, so their voices will be heard.  Protesting is an effective way for teens to spread their opinions on climate change, as multiple techniques can build a better tomorrow. 


            Getting involved in your community is an active way for youths to advocate for climate change. It builds teens’ knowledge on the issue as they are influencing an improved world. From volunteering to starting a club at school, there are numerous ways youths can get involved within their neighborhood. An example would be if a student in Delaware wanted to make an effort to decrease the precipitation levels, they could volunteer in an environmental club that advocates replacing some pavements with green infrastructures. That way, the flooding would reduce as the water absorbed from the green infrastructure prevents runoff during storms (C2ES, n.d.). According to the article, What Climate Change Means for Delaware, “Average annual precipitation in Delaware has increased a few percent in the last century, and precipitation from extremely heavy storms has increased in the eastern United States by more than 25 percent since 1958. During the next century, annual precipitation and the frequency of heavy downpours are likely to keep rising” (EPA, 2016). Based on the passage from EPA, it is clear that adjustments are needed to maintain a healthy environment. Without help from youths, the next generation will suffer immensely. Although some would say that it is difficult for people to be motivated since change takes a long time, it is essential to realize the longer we wait to defend our land, the more devastating the issues will eventually become. Youths that are involved in their community become more aware of significant problems and develop into impactful leaders. 


            Ecosystems, homes, and the health of residents in Delaware are at risk as the climate is changing rapidly. If the next generation doesn’t step in and speak up, their future will suffer  irreversible consequences. By building an educational platform on social media, speaking out, or actively participating in the neighborhood, youths can prevent environmental issues from taking over. It also teaches them critical life skills as they create a responsible society. Even though change might take more time than expected, if youths work together, improvements in the environment will be evident. Slowly, temperatures will decrease, sea levels will stop rising, and precipitation levels will drop. In conclusion, youths have contributed to climate change in a positive manner, but they must keep fighting so they can build a better environment for the next generation. 



Andrio, B., & Safrina, R. (2021, January 13). The Power of Social Media to Fight Climate Change – ACCEPT. ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT). Retrieved May 7, 2023, from 

Denchak, M. (2016, March 15). Consequences and Effects of Global Warming — What is the Impact? NRDC. Retrieved May 7, 2023, from 

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (2016, August). What Climate Change Means for Delaware. US EPA. Retrieved May 7, 2023, from 

Niland, M. (n.d.). Extreme Precipitation and Climate Change – Center for Climate and Energy SolutionsCenter for Climate and Energy Solutions. Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Retrieved May 7, 2023, from 

Ruby, D. (2023, March 20). Social Media Users In The World — (2023 Demographics). Demand Sage. Retrieved May 7, 2023, from 

United Nations. (n.d.). Youth in Action. United Nations. Retrieved May 7, 2023, from