Thornwood High School senior, Avery Smith, shares his climate story. 

Tell a story about an experience that made you aware of climate change/inspired you to be a part of climate activism. 

This past summer, because of the Canadian fires it was difficult to be outside without coughing, and all that made me think about just how royally screwed we are as a species.

What is your experience of climate change?

My area has gotten consistently warmer, in the winter it snows less and summer weather lasts longer. I admit it’s fairly pleasant, but it’s also worrying.

What does a better world look like to you?

A better world is one where people care about doing better by other people and the world. It’s not determined by flying cars or super clean energy, but a paradigm shift in the minds of everyone.

What do you hope to gain from attending COP?

I hope to gain a better understanding of the world and cultures. I also hope to make lasting connections with some of the people I meet to make the world a better place.

What do you want world leaders to know?

There’s a way for everyone to get what we want. We shouldn’t waste time fighting

What do you want adults and decision makers in your community to know? How about your peers?

Every small decision, every small act of solidarity brings us closer to a world where we can all be happy