Arizona’s politicians are not addressing our climate crisis. We need to make them.




A few weeks ago, I turned 18 years old. I’m young. I’m enthusiastic. I’m excited for the future I should have ahead of me.

There’s just one thing: Arizona’s politicians – like U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, who has continued to support President Donald Trump’s toxic environmental agenda – have taken my future and stomped it into the ground with their indifference to the climate crisis.

This indifference drives me to work as an organizer with the Arizona Youth Climate Strike. Our team works to bring climate change to the forefront of our state’s political stage. We’ve held strikes drawing attention to the issue and town halls creating dialogue with elected officials, but there’s still more to be done.

With a recent United Nations report stating that only 11 years remain to drastically reduce pollution before the effects of the climate crisis become irreversible, youth have united behind the science. We don’t claim to be the experts, we just have the common sense to listen to those who are.

While many believe that climate change is real, they envision it as an abstract concept describing a glacier melting in the Arctic, rather than effects in Arizona. From air pollution to drought and heat, the quality of life in the Grand Canyon State may rapidly degrade if urgent action is not taken.

Even worse, the climate crisis is propagated in our communities through local institutions.

In our state, Arizona Public Service – an entity propagating the climate crisis – has a monopoly over our utility industry, raking in increasing profits year after year through rate increases. Rather than investing these funds in infrastructure for a clean energy grid, APS chose to spend more than $12 million funding 16 political groups in 2014, including more than $10 million spent on the Arizona Corporation Commissions races.

Our politicians have become accustomed to the status quo.

In the Arizona Youth Climate Strike, we’ve worked alongside politicians and noticed the extent of this problem. We must urge our elected officials, like Senators McSally and Kyrsten Sinema, to support policies that help transition the United States to a 100% clean energy economy by 2050 and require net zero carbon pollution.

We need systemic change. We must motivate more youth, adults, and elders to vote in favor of not just their own future, but the future of humanity’s existence on this planet. Many politicians have let us down in the past, but hope remains.

With every passing day of inaction, more individuals join our cause. The Arizona Youth Climate Strike has gone from a group of five high school students to a state-wide network of student climate activists. We are preparing dozens of new youth ready to advocate for their futures. We are building a network of cross-generational environmental groups to support each other. We are not backing down from this fight.

Stand with us in the coming months. Your participation in this movement is critical to its success. Arizonans of all ages can attend our Phoenix Climate Strike on Sept. 20 as we show our politicians that all eyes are on them.

We all must fight for change, we cannot afford to lose.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Spot on assessment and much like the Big Lobby funded DC scenario. Big money influences here.
    Yet with the Navajo coal plant finally going away, we must continue to to replace the fossils in office hete. Otherwise, the challenges of Az. climate will continue to make it a challenging place weather wise

  2. You have no historical concept that everything happens in cycles – regardless of puny mankind impact on climate changes. The earth has survived at least 7 earth droughts. Look at the tree rings that clearly demonstrate droughts, times of warming and eras of cooling. In the 1930’s we experienced the dust bowl cycle, then when I was in high school, we were taught that we were entering the next ice age. Thirty years later people made billions advocating global warming, then when that proved farcical, it was changed to climate change. The last 41 predictions of global climate catastrophes have been wrong – – 41 times. Before you think you are smart enough to predict the future, you should deeply study history. That will prevent your being embarrassed as the 42nd consecutive wrong prognosticator.

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