68 pages • 2 hours readEd. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Ed. Katharine K. Wilkinson
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Fifteen-year-old Villaseñor’s letter calls adults to climate activism. She describes the generational inequality that comes from the climate crisis and the things that her generation will miss out on because of climate change. Her activism began in 2018 when she became sick from the smoke and pollution of the wildfires in California and had to leave her hometown to go to New York City. When she made the connection between the fires and climate change, Villaseñor began school strikes on Fridays. She was inspired by Greta Thunberg’s climate activism.
Because Villaseñor and others her age can’t vote, they will inherit the decisions that the adults of today make. Because she is powerless in this way, she is making her voice heard in other ways. Today’s youth are taking legal action, arguing that “children have an inherent right to life and a supportive environment in which to grow” (325).
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Villaseñor writes that the biggest reason that people don’t act on the climate crisis is because they don’t know about or understand it. She has started a nonprofit called Earth Uprising, which focuses on peer-to-peer education about climate change. She calls on all generations to work on this issue and reframes the responsibility of saving and protecting the planet as a blessing rather than a burden.