Opinion: Youth Demand Climate Crisis Action to Protect Our Future

By Nalia Kast and Agnes Artoonian, Taos County residents working to get more Taos youth involved in climate change action.
Posted 9/12/19

It is not unusual to read another headline about the irrefutable climate crisis of our planet. If awareness about the burning Amazon did not fluster your daily routines and shake up your muscles …

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Opinion: Youth Demand Climate Crisis Action to Protect Our Future

Posted

It is not unusual to read another headline about the irrefutable climate crisis of our planet. If awareness about the burning Amazon did not fluster your daily routines and shake up your muscles toward immediate action, we hope that your own community can ignite your power.

At this point, we are all well aware of our impending doom. We are quickly moving toward a future with diminishing resources, extreme weather, mass extinctions of species and a parched environment. Global climate change has created ruin within societies around the world and our lack of mobility will leave future generations facing dire consequences. In particular, those most marginalized in our communities will suffer greatly.

Youth from around the world are inspired to take action and we need strong adult allies who will stand by us and show up to invest in our livelihoods and the sacredness of a livable planet. In order to move toward a sustainable future we demand that our education includes an analysis of the root causes of climate change, the best ways to respond, preparation for a changing climate and alternative economics.

Climate action is beginning to take shape in Northern New Mexico. Youth from Taos County and adult allies presented a resolution to the Taos County Board of Commissioners on Sept. 3 at their bimonthly meeting. The resolution calls for the commissioners' support for the youth and their efforts by declaring a climate emergency, implementing policies pertaining to a just transition to renewable energy and actively moving toward an equitable and sustainable future for all.

However, the momentum for such changes can only be done with more community collaboration, as well as through centering indigenous sovereignty.

Powerful leaders and legislators have abused their roles in representing the people's needs by failing to implement regenerative measures to reduce our climate crisis. We need leaders who will act appropriately toward an equitable future for all and not cater to the interests of lobbyists and corporations. In New Mexico alone, we face a fossil fuel extraction industry that favors oil and gas investors over the health and well-being of our population. This is bigger than our own individual contribution to the destruction of the environment, but an accountability check for those people in power who have sworn to have our best interests in mind.

Consequently, there is a Global Climate Convergence scheduled for Sept. 20 at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. We are inviting you, Taos residents. The youth are rising and we ask you to walk out of work, school and your comfort zone to join in solidarity. Speeches will be made and people will unite against industries taking us toward a future of ecological destruction and ruin. Following the climate protest in Santa Fe, there will be a week of decentralized disruptions worldwide and in New Mexico. This global feat has the goal of accomplishing the halt of the production of greenhouse gases and protest the lack of action from people in positions of power.

We want to send the message that we will move toward a sustainable future as a collective. We want all of you to demand that our local, state and national leaders declare a climate emergency and start now to take steps toward an equitable future for all.

Nalia Kast and Agnes Artoonian are Taos County residents working to get more Taos youth involved in climate change action.

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