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Katie Bryan

Wilmington Friends School

  Inauguration Speech by Katie Bryan WFS ’24

Youth Climate Action 

While pondering how I wanted to approach this essay I knew that I wanted to take a different approach than I usually do with essays. I wanted to ditch the 3 body paragraphs for good, even though that is always my original instinct.

When I was little, whenever anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I always answered with a straight face, “The President of the United States”. That always came with a series of awwws and “Of course, I would vote for you.” As I got older, obviously, my desires changed but there’s always been a little part of me that yearns to give an inauguration speech. Following is my ideal inauguration speech, short, confident, and completely centered around climate change, truly the biggest threat facing humanity. Included below is how I would address the nation after being elected president. 

Fellow Americans. I am honored, humbled, and invigorated by the opportunity I have been given. Thank you. 

I was taking a walk yesterday in a state park near my house and came across a mural with a quote from Minnie Aumonier, a 19th-century poet, the quote goes  “When the world wearies, and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden.” We are now faced with the reality that the Garden might not exist in a few years and the concept of nature completely obliterated in two generations’ time. But America chose to save the world. This election, we saw people of all parties agree that the earth comes first because it is our home. This country has used its voice by electing me. 

The fact that America voted for a president who campaigned for essentially one thing is remarkable, this shows that the earth is most important and my administration and I will prove it. In these next four years, we will reform the way that America is powered. This administration will launch the “10-year mobilization” to reduce carbon emissions. We will join and be an active part of the Paris Agreement, we will adopt the congressional resolution presented by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, titled, “The Green New Deal”. We will stop producing gas-powered cars. We are not just putting up a few solar panels; we are going into the inner workings of the way America uses energy and we’re rebuilding so that future generations will be using sustainable energy. For those of you who see this as extreme, yes this is extreme but it is of utmost importance, for we will not be able to solve any other problems or progress if we do not have a place to live. You have elected me and my administration to move into another era. You the people of the United States of America have picked the earth, you’ve picked the climate, and you’ve picked life! 


This new era will be one full of change, one full of progress, and one of hope. This country has an immense contribution to the steadily growing climate crisis but we also have the means to stop the climb. America I can see your determination and I am confident that this administration will uphold its values. We will make sure that ‘there is always the garden’. 

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