Will Steger Foundation Expedition Copenhagen 2009

The Expedition Copenhagen team consists of Midwest youth who will travel to the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, December 5-19, 2009. The expedition will be led in part by internationally renowned polar explorer Will Steger, and designed in collaboration with youth climate partners across the region.

Voices from Illinois students

Posted On Thursday, November 12, 2009 by Liana.B.Baker |

On my speaking tour at Chicago-area high schools, I’ve been inspired by a lot of students who know a lot about climate change—much more than I knew at their age. I am collecting their messages to bring with me to Copenhagen while I try to build an audience for my dispatches from the climate talks. So far, I have been impressed with how well informed and compelling their messages have been. Here’s a look at some of them: “If people in the world recycled and respected the world, global warming events would not occur. Cutting down on using so much oil and coal could affect change. Also, reducing the damage to the earth’s ocean and rainforest can also produce a cleaner and better atmosphere for animals, plants and human beings. If there was anything I could change, it would be for people to stop damaging life for money, and to respect the beauty of this world. There must be other ways to way to gain profits without making many resources we need to become extinct or even disappear. – Ashanti Wiley, YouthBuild Lake County, Waukegan, Illinois To world leaders: How dare you not react to these devastating world changes. Do you not care about your children’s futures. Do we not matter? Hopefully you’ll hear us out on this matter or we’ll make sure you will never see office. This is not a threat but a promise. Signing off as an angry spectator. –Brittany Hawthorne, YouthBuild Lake County, Waukegan, Illinois What’s more important? Cheap, dirty, outdated technology, or the future of our planet and species? Think with your brains and not with your wallets. What you decide in Copenhagen will literally be the future of the Earth and everything on it. Don’t agree on some lame, unspecific treaty that all countries must follow. You have the power to decide our future. –Unsigned member of New Trier High school’s environment club, Winnetka, Illinois To those with a known voice; My name is Glenna Siegel, and being a singular sophomore, I possess only a quiet voice. However my ideas exceed by small impact. I ask you, now, to help magnify my voice. Please consider our options regarding the presented climate bill in congress: we act against climate change or become victims of our own demise. I hope that people feel strongly in preserving our natural resources. I understand whatever energy inefficient acts we have already supported, but those choices should not depict our future decisions. Whether we fund energy alternatives rather than offering numerous tax educations, I as a future taxpayer, would comply. Our steady increase in carbon dioxide emissions cannot and will not decrease with the sporadic treehugger. The nation and the world must join and pass legislation to decrease emissions. So please, if you share my feelings, speak for me and all other others who are not heard. I appreciate your effort towards a global decrease in carbon emissions. You actions do not go unnoticed by us students. Thank you for time and energy. —Glenna Siegel, member of New Trier High School’s environment club, Winnetka, Illinois
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