I’ve lived in Minnesota my whole life, but with parents who originate from the warm climates of East Africa. Winter has always been a foreign concept to them: the long, dark days and short nights were nothing less than a shock, one that they feel even after 20-plus years of living in Minnesota. Similarly, climate change continues to shock me, in particular the irregular seasons – especially winters – we’ve been having, and the lack of conversation about these changes.
Climate change and its impacts worry me not just because of the changes that are already happening, but because of the rest yet to come. My family members, who live in low-income neighborhoods, all suffer from some type of airborne illness. It’s no secret that those who suffer the most from climate change fall under certain intersections of class and race. These are the reasons I scheduled a meeting with my state representative to discuss this issue, and necessary next steps. I found that there is little to no work being done in this department, and a similar lack of work focusing on racial disparities.
Something has to be done. I’m glad to be joining the youth in Minnesota who are leading the call for an implementation of the Clean Power Plan that speeds clean energy advancement, and promotes clean energy projects that are affordable and accessible to all. I am glad to lend my voice to this effort, as well as seek out my fellow Minnesotans to join in the movement for a socially just and climate-resilient future.
Ultimately, we would like to see Minnesota adopt a goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050. It’s a necessary goal to preserve a livable climate for today’s young people, especially those who suffer from environmental racism.
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