Youth around the world are demanding serious action on climate change.

It’s time for Congress to listen.

This week, Chair Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) with youth climate leaders to do just that. Here’s just some of what they had to say:

“This is the struggle of our lifetime…We truly believe in the power our generation has to shape the future. And I think it is going to come from a place of deep healing and deep love.”

— Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Youth Director, Earth Guardians

“Humanity shouldn’t be up for debate.

Human lives should not be up for debate.

And there should not be a single life lost to this any longer…

How many more lives is it going to take for us to start doing something seriously?”

— Nina Berglund, Young Climate Intervenors

“I think that one of the main problems that we have in politics is that when we talk about the climate crisis, we use numbers like ‘2030, 2040, 2050’ and it gives the sense that we have time until the climate crisis hits us. But the climate crisis is already impacting so many people, not just in our community but in communities around the world who aren’t getting this platform to talk about it.

So what we really need to be saying is that the climate crisis is already hurting us. It’s happening. And so the point now is not, ‘How are we going to avert it,’ but ‘How are we going to make sure it is not as bad as it possibly could be.’”

— Jonah Gottlieb, National Children’s Campaign and Schools for Climate Action

“We’ve seen that the impact of climate change has disproportionately impacted indigenous communities…when our communities are threatened by the extractive industries, when our communities are threatened by these years of systemic oppression and poverty, that is inherently tied into the reason why our environment is so threatened right now. Because we are not empowering indigenous peoples or their rights or their way of life. ”

— Tokata Iron Eyes, Standing Rock Sioux

“This land does not belong to us. We sit on it and we plant a stick on it and claim that we own it. But it belongs to our children and our children’s children. This land is only borrowed, this air is only borrowed, this Earth is only borrowed. We need to leave something back for our next generations to grow up on.”

— Jasilyn Charger, Lakota Sioux

“I don’t know what you need to do something.

I don’t know how many people have to tell you that they’re dying and they’re hurting.

I don’t know how many scientists have to tell that we don’t have any more time — that we don’t have time left.

And I don’t know how many times I have to hear ‘2030’ when there are people sitting right in front of me that are suffering today.”

— Anaiah Thomas, Deputy Director of Finance, Zero Hour

“I don’t think there is such a thing as compromise any more. There is no such thing as compromise.”

— Ethan Wright, Advocacy Director, Zero Hour

“The injustice and the destruction of the Earth is a complete reflection of the abuse of women in our culture and the desecration and disrespect of the sacred matriarchy that many of our peoples have held very close to us. And if we want to heal the world, and we want to reverse the climate crisis, and we want to draw carbon back into the atmosphere, and we want to transition our energy economy, the forefront of that is going to come from healing the deep trauma that each and every one of us experience in very different ways, because we come from different ancestral lineages. But that, I think, is what is pivotal to what is at the forefront of what our generation must undergo.”

— Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Youth Director, Earth Guardians

“Now, after living through that firestorm I can, with full confidence, I can say that climate change is something that has an impact on my everyday life. I am thinking of it every single moment that I’m awake, basically.”

— Kate Roney, Schools for Climate Action

Follow @NRDems on & check back here for more updates.

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