As we gather to spend time with families and friends this Thanksgiving, and share stories from the past and hopes for the future, I want to take a moment to share a story about a group of remarkable youth who are taking action to ensure a healthy future for us all. I have been traveling across the United States over the past few months with our partner, the iMatter Campaign, and have met extraordinary youth who are taking big steps to protect our atmosphere and our collective future.
I was struck deeply this summer by a story John Thiebes, age 23, shared during our first conversation. John told me that one of the most important moments in his life was when he realized climate change was something that he would have to come to grips with.
Even more important, was the moment he realized he personally had to do something significant about it. And he has. John has set out to change agricultural practices on a worn out patch of prairie in the agricultural heart of Montana. But that’s not all he is doing.
In addition to working his farm in Carter, Montana, taking a full-academic course load, starting up an chicken feed coop called The New Farm Cooperative, working to ensure the Farm Bill supports a viable future for young farmers and protects the natural resources of this country, John recognizes that changing agricultural practices alone will not be enough to address the climate crisis. So he has taken his request for help to Montana’s judges and justices with the assistance of Our Children’s Trust and the iMatter Campaign.
Here’s a window into John’s story:
How You Can Get Involved
You can support John and his generation by sending a link to his video along with a personal letter with your story to key decision makers or upload it here. Ask our leaders to TRUST our scientists and be thankful that the scientists are giving us a heads up along with a solution so we can all live in a just and healthy world.
Also, you can ask any of the following leaders – or leaders in your own state – to adopt and implement Climate Recovery Plans based in science:
- President Obama
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
- Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
- Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar
- Energy Secretary Steven Chu
- Commerce Secretary, John Bryson
- EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson
- Montana Governor, Brian Schweitzer
- Montana Senator, John Tester
- Montana Senator, Max Baccus
- Montana Representative, Denny Rehberg
And for any climate deniers you may be sharing your holiday table with, please share this recent finding made by a prominent and former climate-skeptic, Dr. Richard Muller: “Global warming is real.” As this editorial from the New York Times concludes:
Mr. Muller says he doesn’t know how much of the warming is caused by humans, what its effects will be or what should be done about it. He shows little interest in entering the political fight. Still, his acceptance of the reality of warming may help move the conversation — once and for all — away from questions about whether it exists to smart strategies for addressing it.
That’s all the youth are asking for – a smart strategy. And I thank them.
Watch the first video in this series Trust California with Alec Loorz, click here.