My mom told me about a plan for an oil pipeline called the Keystone XL. It will run from Alberta, Canada, through the middle of the US, and finally end in Texas. Its purpose would be to carry oil from Alberta's tar sands down to Texas. It is to President Obama to approve it or disapprove it. Last year, my grandparents had gotten arrested for the civil-disobedience protest against the pipeline, and they had invited me to come watch the last day of it. This was a really amazing experience, how there were these people that were calmly and peacefully LETTING themselves be arrested, just to show how they felt about climate change and the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
From that point on, I realized how powerful civil disobedience and speaking up for your future can be. There are things I can do to help in my lifestyle and community, but there is more we can do together. I conserve energy, turn off lights when I leave a room, recycle, and ride my bike to school every day. Now I am also part of the iMatter Youth Council with Kids vs Global Warming to pressure the President and our leaders to stand up for my generation and take action on climate change.
Climate change is the most important issue for my generation because it is a scary idea to grow up in a world where extreme droughts and hurricanes are normal; polar bears, harp seals, and penguins are extinct; and North Carolina's coastline looks totally different because the West Antarctic ice shelf has melted. The USA emits 30.3% of all greenhouse gas pollution in the world. That's more greenhouse gas pollution than South America (3.8 %), Africa (2.5%), the Middle East (2.6%), Australia (1.1%), and Asia (12.2%) COMBINED! Therefore, as Americans, it is our obligation to work as hard as we can to fix that problem by fighting global warming. If we destroy this Earth, we won't get a second chance.
Together with other youth across the nation, I am asking my President to say NO to the Keystone XL pipeline. On February 18th there will be a huge Keystone XL action in D.C. We encourage everyone who can to come participate and stand up for our right to inherit a sustainable planet!
For more information about the Rally, visit forwardonclimate.org
Hallie and the iMatter Team