Stories from the Field

My Visit to Capitol Hill

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Noah Sary visits with legislators

Climate change was just a phrase out of many we would briefly study in middle school, and then move on to the next unit for the year. During my sophomore year, I took Ecology when I started to learn more about nature and the danger that climate change posed. By the end of sophomore year, I knew I wanted to continue taking classes that had an emphasis on environmental issues and climate change. 

Junior year came along and I decided to take AP environmental science to gain more knowledge regarding these issues, and that's where my awakening began.

After every chapter we read, I felt a weight of despair build up inside me, and it came to a point where I was compelled to sincerely do something about these issues.
Noah Sary

I went online and found the Climate Reality Project and Citizens Climate Lobby. 

As I learned more about each organization, I decided to attend one of Citizens Climate Lobby's monthly chapter meetings. When I attended my first meeting, I was surprised to see that most of the members were much older than me, and mostly retired. It was surprising at first considering the environmental movement happening now usually consists of younger people, but it was also refreshing to see older people protecting the planet. 

What really drew me to CCL was the non-partisan aspect of their work on climate change.  A couple of months after I read the Carbon Dividend and Fee Bill that they were supporting, they asked me to join them at CCL's November Lobbying Day in Washington D.C, and I said yes, of course. But the only "yes" that would matter was one from my parents, and thankfully they agreed. This was an opportunity for me to talk to the highest elected officials in the country about climate policy and how climate change has affected myself and my community. Having the opportunity to truly see how our government works and seeing their take on climate policy was a mind-opening and hopeful experience. With this new experience, I learned that there are so many reasons as to why a Senator or Representative would or would not co-sponsor a certain bill. 

I believe that environmental issues and climate change should be a non-partisan discussion because it doesn’t benefit anyone if no progress is made due to political games. I believe that with everything going on in the world, environmental issues and climate change are things that governments are finally starting to do something about and set goals for, but they need to be more ambitious. These upcoming elections will be important and no matter who wins we must keep pushing for climate policy that will help us drive down emissions. I still have hope that some form of climate policy will be supported in a non partisan way in the near future, but we need to keep our hope and keep pushing for change.


The environmental movement in the '70s pushed for the formation of the EPA, launched Earth day in Santa Barbara, and would not stop pushing for change, and they succeeded in their effort to pass meaningful legislation. So can we.
Noah Sary

Noah is a former TEEM participant and a senior at Redwood High School in Larkspur, CA. He has completed the application process for a number of colleges and is leaning toward the University of Oregon or the University of Portland. He loves green spaces, forests and mountains. He is psyched to be around people and students who value nature.

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