New York Times: Young Activists Seek Roles on Energy, Climate

[Read the complete original report in the New York Times]
 
 By ANDREW C. REVKIN

A comment contributor in  this weekend’s open discussion over at Climate Progress is seeking help. He describes himself, essentially, as an aspiring, yet despairing, young energy and climate activist who still hopes to make a difference despite his conviction that “civilization is imploding.

To add emphasis to the word global, I’m including a recent note I received from  Syed Aown Shahzad from Lahore, Pakistan. I met him at the United Nations, where he was part of a youth delegation seeking concrete action from diplomats gathered for the 2009 Climate Summit. (He was  an exchange student in Middletown, N.Y., at the time.)

He’s 17 now, and an aspiring (though not yet despairing) member of what I call Generation E who is also seeking ideas for gaining traction. In Pakistan, the big issue, of course, is the one Randy Olson noted here the other day — “ noise.”

climate kidsAndrew C. RevkinSyed Aown Shahzad, from Pakistan, is third from the left in the back row. He was among 13 high school students with roots in developing countries who spoke to delegates at the United Nations climate summit in 2009. (The second and third women from the right, Kerry Constabile and Jen Samuel, are from Unicef.)

Here’s Aown’s note:

I live in Lahore, Pakistan, and I am a member of [Youth Encounter on Sustainability] Alumni which does lot of community service, etc. I basically do lot of community service/activism relating to different issues in Pakistan such as child Rights, youth empowerment, animal Protection and of course climate change.

I also am in contact with Pakistan’s  Youth Climate Network, which does a few events over the year, such as the  10/10/10 of 350.org. But otherwise not many organizations, individuals, and the government, are working for climate change awareness.

The main focus in Pakistan gets lost easily due to bomb blasts, government issues and then the flood. There is always something happening so people tend to just move from one issue to the next, and so causes such as this one tend to just be ignored. So with limited resources I right now have no idea how I can promote climate change awareness in Pakistan.

One great thing in Pakistan currently is that we have a majority youth population with 62% people under the age of 25. So I was hoping to somehow connect with them by things which are popular here, such as Facebook, newspapers and of course the television. I want people to be aware of the connection of the floods with the changes in our climate but I am just drawing a blank. So I would appreciate any help from you in that regard.

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