Preserving the Environment

While Her Peers Stand Idle, This Teen Activist Fights for the Earth

September 25, 2014
by
Menu
While Her Peers Stand Idle, This Teen Activist Fights for the Earth
18-year-old activist Kelsey Juliana is walking across America to raise awareness of climate change. Screengrab via Vimeo
Kelsey Juliana explains why armchair activism isn't enough.

Kelsey Juliana is proof that you’re never too young or too busy to save the planet.

The 18-year-old environmentalist activist is a co-plaintiff for the Oregon TRUST (a nonprofit fighting climate change for future generations), who is suing the state of Oregon “to take a more aggressive stance against the carbon emissions warming the earth and destroying the environment.” It’s a cause she’s been fighting for since the tender age of 15.

The impressive teen — who is also walking across America to bring awareness to global warming — recently sat down with journalist Bill Moyers on his show. The host marveled that when most kids her age are reading “The Hunger Games,” this young lady is delving into legal briefs about public doctrine.

During a poignant portion of the interview at the 4:30 mark below, Moyers asks, “Do some of your friends in high school think you’re weird [for your activism]?”

Juliana responds, “No. They seem to all support me but not join me, which is almost worse than not supporting me, you know, because they get it. And they don’t do anything.”

MORE: What Happens When a 13-Year-Old Girl Takes on an Oil Company?

What she says is completely true. Thanks to the proliferation of smart phones and social media, America’s youth is probably more informed about worldly issues than ever (just think of the virality of #BringBackOurGirls or the ALS #IceBucketChallenge). And while using a hashtag to promote a cause certainly helps, ultimately, actions speak much louder.

With warmer temperatures, rising sea levels and toxic air, we cannot afford to stand idle. Especially, the people who will be inheriting the earth.

As Juliana says, “I think that’s so important that people my age really get [that] into their heads. As a younger person, I have everything to gain from taking action and everything to lose from not… It’s important that youth are the ones who are standing up because of the fact that we do have so much to lose.”

DON’T MISS: When it Comes to the Planet, Children (Not the Government) Really Are the Future

 

Comments