by Teri Link

The famous anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Thoughtful citizens begin as caring children. Most young children love animals; this oftentimes becomes the launching pad for kids to become aware of the environment, how it impacts wildlife, and the perils of climate change. Over the past decade or two, climate change has become a pressing topic, and most of the actual changes that are being made are led by young people.

The most recognizable teen leader for climate change is, of course, Greta Thunberg. Now nineteen years old and an internationally recognized environmental activist, Greta started her intense interest in climate change at age 8. She inspired many young people to make changes in their own communities and has launched international youth-led groups.

The United Nations Envoy on Youth reported in 2008 that 89% of youth respondents say young people can make a difference on climate change. Since then, groups organized exclusively for teenagers have popped up all over the world. Some are huge groups with millions of members, and some are locally based, teen-led programs.

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium currently hosts a program that is not only focused on environmental issues, but it is also exclusively for and led by teens. The Teens Take C.A.A.R.E. group is designed to empower and inspire young people to be involved in conservation and climate issues. C.A.A.R.E. stands for Conservation Action through Advocacy, Research, and Engagement.

To read this and other featured articles in their entirety, pickup the April 2022 issue of Julien’s Journal magazine. Click to subscribe for convenient delivery by mail, or call (563) 557-1914. Single issues are also available in print at area newsstands and digitally via the Issuu platform.

Julien’s Journal, the Dubuque area lifestyle magazine, is a monthly regional feature magazine for and about Dubuque and the tri-state region.

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