Climate change is worsening, putting all of our lives at risk. But who is in charge of coming up with solutions? Adults. Ironic, isn’t it? Adults are working on solutions but youth comprising the next generation are the ones who must face these effects. To truly heal our planet, we need all the help we can get, including the diverse perspectives of today's youth.
In fact, high school and college students have already created impressive inventions such as AkoFresh, which solves post-harvest losses with an an off-grid cold storage preservation unit, and Saving the Amazon which utilizes technology to preserve the Amazon rainforest using an “Adopt a Tree” framework.
Sam Kaplan-Pettus, an 18-year old student at Berkeley City College noticed the lack of youth voices (ages 12 to 19) in climate change politics and has been working for the past six months to address this issue, namely at Berkeley’s environment and climate commission. The commission is tasked with advising the City Council on issues pertaining to environmental sustainability.
Kaplan-Pettus reached out to city officials and has gained the support of council members like Terry Taplin and Rigel Robinson, and from Ben Gould, the chair of the commission.
The climate commission voted to support the idea in concept, and Vice Mayor Kate Harrison is working on an ordinance that would allow for this change.