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Our Kids Are Right About Climate Change

"As delegates for the UN's Climate Action Summit convene in New York, the real leaders are the young people pushing for climate justice in the streets.

Earlier this month, I watched the CNN climate town hall while my best friend’s four-year-old was flipping on the couch cushions next to me. Occasionally, he’d pick his head up from improv gymnastics and ask questions about what and who we were watching: “Do we like her? Is she good?”

Is she good? It’s tempting to slug wine and say, “Well yeah, kid, we like her, but it’s complicated,” like the jaded, hedgy adult that I am. In tackling the climate crisis and drastically cutting emissions, there are so many shades of gray: energy infrastructure is expensive, and the whiplash of election cycles makes action hard. But I’m not going to explain that to a toddler, and there’s truth in the black-and-white polarity. Every year this kid has been alive has been record-breakingly hot. Human-generated climate change is irrevocably damaging the world he’s growing up in. That is bad. Kids just slightly older than him are protesting and organizing to push governments into addressing it—and getting international traction."

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