Youth Activist Encourages People To Pay $10 A Month To Fight Climate Change

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Xiuhtezcatl Martinez has been fighting against climate change since he was six years old.

Youth Activist Encourages People To Pay $10 A Month To Fight Climate Change

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez has been fighting against climate change since he was six years old. He is engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience, led marches and rallies, and helped pass local environmental legislation.


He is perhaps best known for his role in the landmark lawsuit against the federal government, Juliana, et al. v. United States. The lawsuit alleges that the government violated the constitutional right of kids to a safe environment for failing to take effective action on climate change. Although it's been known for decades that greenhouse gas emissions warm the atmosphere, setting in motion disastrous environmental consequences, emissions continue to rise every year.


The activist has seen the climate movement grow from a small issue to a dominant organizing framework over the past ten years as sea levels rise, extreme storms worsen, and droughts and heatwaves become more common.


Now 19 years old, he wants to convert this momentum into tangible action. With a coalition of teachers, entrepreneurs, artists, and activists, he’s launched a new platform called NOW, which seeks to reconceptualize climate change and empower everyday people in the fight against it.


NOW is an open-ended platform that wishes to partner with all kinds of institutions for the common cause of battling climate change.


Initially, the group is focused on planting one trillion trees through a simple subscription service and partnership model. Along with people paying one-time or monthly — Martinez suggested $10 a month as a reasonable donation, yet the platform accepts any amount — to reforest parts of Earth, NOW encourages companies to integrate the program into their business models. For instance, a portion of proceeds from ticketed events could go to support NOW, he said.


The world currently emits about 40 billion tons of carbon annually. Reforesting Earth would create carbon sinks to slow down climate change, maybe buying humanity enough time to transition beyond fossil fuels.


Conserving existing trees, especially in the Amazon rainforest, is even more critical than planting new ones, according to Martinez. From 1990 to 2016, humans razed 502,000 square miles of trees, and 46 percent of all trees have been cut down since humans started harvesting lumber and clearing land, as Nat Geo reports. The Amazon rainforest, known as the lungs of Earth, has lost 17 percent of its tree cover over the past 50 years.


NOW will primarily rely on drone technology to scale its tree-planting efforts, yet partnerships with Indigenous groups that have in-depth knowledge of forests will also be instrumental to the project.


Martinez believes that many people will be eager to spend the cost of a few cups of coffee every month on reforesting the planet and supporting other forms of climate action. The many carbon credit programs which have emerged over the past few years have shown that there is an appetite for being proactive about the climate crisis.


Investing in landscapes and ecosystems contributes to reframing the narrative of the climate crisis from one of doom and gloom to one of redemption. Government inaction could be replaced by a global movement demanding action.


X (@xiuhtezcatl) on

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Thinking Humanity: Youth Activist Encourages People To Pay $10 A Month To Fight Climate Change
Youth Activist Encourages People To Pay $10 A Month To Fight Climate Change
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez has been fighting against climate change since he was six years old.
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