On April 4, 2017, I stood in front of thirteen politicians and began the most terrifying experience of my life. With shaking, sweaty hands I held a cardboard box stuffed to the brim with petitions and a document that contained a speech written on it in 12-point Times New Roman Font. I had been preparing for this moment for months. I took a deep breath, and when the timer planted on the podium began to count down from 180 seconds, I began to speak.
“What? Asbestos isn’t banned?” is an exclamation I hear all too often from people when I tell them I am a survivor of mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. I know, crazy isn’t it, that a known carcinogen banned from use in over 55 OTHER countries is not banned in the USA, long thought to be a world leader in such things. Sadly, the United States lags far behind on these types of regulations and if the current administration gets its way, things could get even worse.
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On Wednesday, May 17, a delegation of youth, led by the Action Fellows with the Alliance for Climate Education and our partners at 350 Massachusetts for a Better Future (350 Mass) and the Boston Student Advisory Council, prepared to meet with the staff of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to urge the Governor to speak out against the Trump administration’s threats to pull the US out of the Paris Climate agreement.
On Thursday, the US became one of three countries to reject the Paris Climate Agreement. The other two are Syria, a failed state whose collapse was partly fueled by climate change, and Nicaragua, who refused to sign in protest that the agreement isn’t strong enough. 194 other countries – the entire rest of the world – are lined up against us. So, where do we go from here?
In March of 2017, I drove to UNC Chapel-Hill for what I heard was a “climate simulation.” I didn’t think much about it until I showed up and had no idea what I was going to do that day.
This month, we were all set to kick off ACE’s spring giving campaign by celebrating the achievements of ACE youth climate leaders, teachers and students. Rather, we find ourselves engulfed in a cloud of climate denial at the highest levels of our government. President Donald Trump has made his intentions clear to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, thus threatening our place as a global energy and economic leader.
Today, I am thrilled to announce the appointments of three new board members: Maggie Fox, Brian Beitner and Lisa Hoyos. They join a passionate and committed board that oversees ACE’s strategy, finances and operations.
Their unique strengths and experience will help realize ACE’s mission: to educate young people on the science of climate change and empower them to take action. Read below to learn more:
On March 16, 2017, Bay Area Action Fellow James Coleman took the Climate One stage to record a podcast episode centered around youth activism and using the courts to fight climate change. James shares his experience on the podcast and gives advice on what young people can do right now in the fight against climate change.
A shivering group of high schoolers and adults illuminated these words outside Governor Cuomo’s office on Third Avenue in Manhattan on March 16, 2017. Our focus was sending a clear message to Governor Cuomo: climate change requires immediate action.