According to the United Nations, an organization that spans many governments with the goal of maintaining global peace, climate change is the “single biggest health threat facing humanity.” Climate change impacts each and every one of us, and many people are realizing that we need to do something about it.
As defined by the UN, the term climate change refers to “long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns.” While climate change can be partially due to natural causes, research shows that human activities have been the main factor for centuries. Climate change can be exacerbated by activities like generating power with fossil fuels, cutting down forests for wood, and using transportation.
Public speaking has a long history in the world of activism. In the late 19th and early 20th century Susan B. Anthony advocated for women’s suffrage (right to vote). In the 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. used his words to help people fight for racial justice. But public speaking is particularly helpful for climate change activism; some good examples are young public speakers like Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and Isra Hirsi.
So what differences can you make in your own life to help fight against climate change? You can:
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Try to reduce your consumption of single-use plastics and reuse bags and containers whenever you can. Recycle plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, etc.
- Eat Less Meat: Eating more plant-based food is good for the environment because agriculture produces a lot of greenhouse gases and destroys a lot of trees and plants in order to feed animals. You don’t have to go completely vegan to reduce your environmental impact!
- Conserve Energy: Turn off and unplug devices when you’re not using them, and use energy-efficient lightbulbs if you can.
- Walk, Bike, or use Public Transportation: Walking and biking helps emit less polluting gasses into our atmosphere compared to driving a car, and it also helps you get some extra exercise! If those aren’t options for you, use public transportation because it still reduces the total carbon emissions compared to if everybody drove their own vehicles.
- Educate Others!
The last point in this list, educating others, is one of the most important things you can do. By spreading awareness about climate change to your friends and family you can help increase the number of people taking action. So what are some ways you can use public speaking to share this message?
Here are some ideas:
- School: You can give a speech on climate change for a relevant project!
- Friends: You can engage in a friendly debate or discussion to talk about the issues you see on the news or in books.
- Social Media: By sharing a message through a video on social media you can increase the number of people who receive your message.
- Volunteer: Lots of youth climate organizations already exist! You can look for one near you and attend conferences or other events.
- Podcasting: By starting a blog or podcast you can share your insights or find people to interview about this topic!
It’s more clear than ever that we need to take action to help stop climate change. Even if you’re a kid, there’s plenty you can do to help! Your voice has the power to create change.