NYC Climate Week 2018: The Voice Behind Youth Empowerment in the Words of General Wesley K. Clark

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Climate change comprises of threats for every corner of life on Earth, and one admirable individual, General Wesley Clark, defied skepticism and controversy. The General delivered his captivating advocacy for youth climate empowerment against the rising threats of this rising global environmental concern.

As Climate Month sweeps through New York City with a wind of education and climate collaboration of major nation and business leaders, youth climate change advocates breathe in a new gust of passion and objective. At the center of this event, individuals of all kinds have taken the stage in inspiring the youth in global climate action.

On September 24th, 2018, individuals of all backgrounds, including myself, gathered at New York City’s very own Explorer’s Club in an effort to seek motivation in mobilizing awareness for climate change mitigation. Past the political differences, controversies, and a bombardment of pressing questions to address, General Wesley Clark sparked a fire in youth climate empowerment. As I gathered the confidence to address General Clark after being in a room full of renowned scientists and businessmen, I gathered one simple question, “How can the youth be empowered to inspire the climate change skeptics to jump in the boat with advocates for climate change mitigation?” In other words, I yearned to understand what efforts are needed to educate individuals of all kinds of the impact climate change has on our present lives. General Clark left me with words in absence of bias, but instead emphasized and influenced acts of collaboration for a common goal: the preservation of Earth. Through the General’s words of, “…as a 16 year-old high school student, organize a committee, you will find like-minded students all the way across this country. What happened in North Carolina was inexcusable, but it can be fixed…you can make a difference.”

General Clark emphasized both the point of youth empowerment, and within his awakening speech makes it clear that we all have something to fear from climate change. Most importantly, our age does not define our right of empowerment, our voices are not diminished in size, but instead play key roles in climate change mobilization to conserve the Earth – a one-time gift.

As I walked away from this memorable night, a notion of maintaining peace, collaboration, sustaining conservation, and upholding our call-to-action were elements that I believe will be the face of our youth’s future, the youth we mark the generation of today.