My family knows relatively little about the subject of climate change — but we have been listening and are willing to learn. Recently, our 15-year-old daughter Hannah was given the opportunity to accompany a nonprofit group to Washington, D.C. She and other volunteers from around the country lobbied members of Congress and their staff members about legislation addressing potential solutions to our changing climate. She visited the offices of Utah Rep. Mia Love (a Republican member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus) and Sen. Orrin Hatch, as well as Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso.
Hannah’s experience is a reminder of how important it is for the next generation to become involved in this critical dialogue evolving globally right now. Some of us enter the discussion with closed minds, often because of politics or unfounded fears that solutions to curb damage to the climate are unnecessary or will negatively impact the economy. Young minds, I would argue, tend to be more open, pliable and reasonable on this subject, focusing more on vital issues like ensuring now — and for future generations — a more safe and healthy climate and environment within which they can breathe clean air and drink clean water. The international Citizens Climate Lobby, which has grown to more than 400 chapters, is a great way for more youth to get involved in bringing fresh ideas to adult conversations about climate change.
Salt Lake City