My Climate Change Action Story

*This blog post was written for the EmpowerWA website about why I volunteer with the AYCC*

They say that young people are the future world leaders. Well I believe this is false. Young people to me are the world leaders of today, and young people have so much power to sway public policy and opinion on important issues.

My name is Morgan Pettersson and I am a young person in Western Australia who is dedicated to helping to solve the climate change crisis.

I honestly was never really interested in climate change until around a year ago. Before then I cared about the environment but I thought, what can I do to try and make a change?

I travelled to Thessaloniki, Greece as part of the Global Environmental Journalism Initiative scholarship in March 2011 to study and write environmental articles. Whilst there I began to despair about the lack of environmental conscious that was being displayed in the beautiful and ancient country of Greece. The country was, and still is, in the midst of political and economic upheaval, and yet it was still so sad to see that the environment was being forgotten about.

I wrote a few articles about the environmental situation whilst I was there trying to highlight the environmental plight of the country. The whole time I was away I kept telling myself that this lack of environmental awareness would never happen in Australia, and that we look after our unique and vulnerable flora and fauna.

When I came back to Australia I started to become really disillusioned by the lack of interest in the environment. People didn’t seem very interested, and the issue of climate change was still circulating highly in the media, and I began to realise that things needed to change.

I began to become really interested in the environment and the effects of climate change on our home as well as the rest of the world. I heard about the Australia Youth Climate Coalition and wanted to become involved in some way by using my public relations and writings skills that I had learnt at University through my studies.

I still believe that hardest part of tackling climate change is getting more people interested in the cause, and passionate enough about it to actually stand up and make a conscious change. This can be as simple as changing the electricity use in their homes by installing solar panels, or more direct action through organising events and placing pressure on local politicians to do more.

Many people in the community still have a very warped perception about environmentalists. Being seen as a ‘crazy hippy’ is a common stereotype. I have been really excited to be able to help slowly change this perception both in the media as well as within the minds of people in the community.

The more people who come on board and learn about climate change and renewable energy the quicker we can start to move towards a sustainable future for Australia. It is really hard in Western Australia, as this is the mining state, but very slowly things are changing.

I care about climate change because it is my future that is being gambled with, and this is why I am so thankful to be able to make a difference with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

Being part of the media team has allowed me to put my communication and writing skills into action in a fun setting with other like-minded young people. Together we are making a difference, and I am proud to say that I am a young person who is active in my community on the issue of climate change.

If you are a young person like Morgan who is interested in becoming part of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, you can find out more here.


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