“I stand before you representing my entire generation … We need you to take action. We are all indigenous to this earth.” – Xiuhtezcatl Martinez addressing the United Nations
This quote from our next featured youth climate activist illustrates why climate change should be important to everyone. Xiuhtezcatl is a 21-year old activist and artist from Boulder Colorado who has roots in the Aztek people from Mexico City and activism runs in his blood. His mother was a co-founder of Earth Guardians whose focus is on environmental education, community outreach and activism. At 6 years old, X (as he is known) gave his first speech on the importance of environmental protections at a National Global Warming event when he was just 6years old.
At such a young age he recognized that to address the issue of climate change he needed to address the level of apathy present in youth as well as adults and that the source of that apathy was lack of education. In his first speech, he said: “…most kids don’t even know that the world is sacred because they spend all their time in front of their TVs or their video games. It’s time for their parents to take them outside and show them that Mother Earth is a scary thing.” He became the youth director of the Earth Guardians in his effort to galvanize his generation to act against climate change. And he now uses his music to amplify his voice and educate youth about various environmental issues such as fracking, fossil fuel consumption and climate change.
At 13, he was awarded the US Volunteer Service award by President Barack Obama and served on the president’s youth council. At 14 he delivered his first TEDx talk in Colorado, and at 15 he addressed the United Nations General Assembly, then took part as one of 21 plaintiffs who sued the federal government for its failure to act on climate change. And these are just some of the accomplishments and actions he has taken in his first 2 decades on this planet! With his passion, commitment and drive he will no doubt be a continued force for transformation for years to come.