Kazi Ateea Interview

Interview on March 14, 2016 with:

Kazi Ateea

1) Why do you think that many young people have not yet grasped the climate crisis?

Many people are uneducated about climate change, therefore denying it. About 50% of our Republican candidates deny climate change or believe that “it’s complicated.” This sets the wrong image in the minds of the youth. The lack of understanding and knowledge of climate change creates misunderstanding between people. We, as the future caretakers of this earth, need to show that climate change is nothing to be confused about. Climate change is currently affecting millions of people around the world and will continue to do so. If kids are aware of the problem affecting them, they can teach and encourage their parents, peers​, and others to become ​educated ​as well.

2) What are the most effective ways to engage young people, from your perspective?

Young people fail to realize the risk that takes place with climate change and how it controls their future. The youth need to become more involved and knowledgeable of their actions and the actions of people in power.They fail to realize that this is the world they will soon inherit and this is the world that will fall into crisis because of the actions not taken today to prevent the effects of climate change tomorrow. The climate is the right and responsibility of the youth, so they need to step up their game and begin to take action. Encouraging, empowering, and giving kids a platform to create change is what motivates. Interactive methods of displaying information will not only teach but empower them to create change. The youth learn from the people they look up to and respect. If their role models and peers know and take action on pressing issues, like climate change,  it will motivate them to take action as well because it’s cool. In the world of today, everyone looks around to see what the other is doing before they take action themselves. If we create a positive environment where youth can display their concerns, they can be the influence that everyone looks to. We, the youth, can become the leaders needed to take this climate movement to next level.

3) If someone could only do 1 thing to address climate change, what would you tell them to do?

Education is the best way to influence people. Teaching and storytelling connects to people’s personal side. I started learning about the earth at a young age, leading me to take part in my elementary school’s first green team. From there, my love for the natural world kept growing with earth science becoming my favorite science. I started to see the fault in human ways. Started to inspire people to create change.  Once a child learns about one way of life, it’s hard to steer them away from it. Education is the best way to get in touch with a child’s ethical side. It not only teaches about an important issue spreading across the world but also the adults who take part in their lives.

Sharing the story of my family and the island of Sandwip in Bangladesh, I have helped people realize that the impact of climate change is close to our hearts as it also hits close to home. New York is in danger due to climate change as we experience during Hurricane Sandy, but still many do not believe. The biggest way to combat climate change is to teach people about it. The more people know, the more passionate they will grow. Educate to influence and inspire.


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