Our air, water, and home are threatened: For millennia, we have depended on a stable climate, which has shaped every part of our way of life. Now, we face the frightening reality that this foundation will crumble within our lifetimes unless we take immediate and decisive action to transform our energy system. Communities across America are already feeling severe impacts, with working-class people and people of color being hit hardest.
Solutions are ready to go, and they’ll make our lives better: Wind and solar energy are now cheaper than the polluting oil, gas, and coal of yesterday. If we stop wasting billions in taxpayer money giving handouts to oil and gas CEOs, we can halt climate change and create tens of millions of jobs by upgrading America’s outdated infrastructure. We could enter a new age of prosperity and health and bring forward the people this country has left behind.
But a greedy few are driving us toward catastrophe: This brighter future is being held hostage by a handful of wealthy oil and gas executives who will stop at nothing to squeeze the last bit of money out of the earth. They’ve gotten away with it by lying to the public and buying off politicians of both parties to stall progress and secure massive giveaways for themselves. Their incredible wealth means their families will be fine, but the rest of us won’t.
We will not be divided: To keep up this scheme, they pit us against each other -- by political party, skin color, and where we live. They tell us that one community has to suffer for another to thrive. They say some children must breathe toxic air so that others can have electricity. They say some parents must choose between a dangerous and polluting job, and no job at all. They say climate refugees from other countries are simply not our concern. They divide us up and exploit us each in different ways, while they get massive bonuses. We say no more.
We are the majority. We will win: We are ordinary young people who are scared about what the climate crisis means for the people and places we love. We are gathering in classrooms, living rooms, and worship halls across the country. Everyone has a role to play. Public opinion is already with us -- if we unite by the millions, we can turn this into political power and elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people.
We are not looking to the right or left. We look forward. Together, we will change this country and this world, sure as the sun rises each morning.