15-Year-Old Climate Activist Silences UN General Assembly


Dubbed the anti-Bieber, 15-year-old climate activist Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez from Colorado, recently gave an incredible speech to the United Nations General Assembly packed with world leaders and representatives of about 270 countries ‘discussing’ climate change and how to reach an agreement in Paris later this year.

Martinez, the teenager who is the youth director of the nonprofit organization Earth Guardians that seeks to promote young activists and artists interested in helping to protect the planet, looked the representatives in the eyes and spoke passionately calling on delegates to encourage global action on climate change.

“For the last nine years since I was six years old, I’ve been on the front lines of climate and environmental movements standing up to fight for my future and for our planet. What a lot of people fail to see or seem to ignore is that climate change isn’t an issue that’s far off in the future. It isn’t slowly affecting the ice caps in the poles or the sea-level rise in our oceans. It’s affecting us right here, right now, and will only continue to get worse.

“In a three month period, my family and I, we witnessed the greatest wildfires and the worst floods that we’ve ever seen in Colorado history. Frequency and severity of massive storms and massive floods, massive super storms, are increasing all over the planet because of our lack of action — because of the increase of carbon dioxide emissions, because of the way that we are living. And, because of this, young people are standing up all over the planet, because we see that climate change is a human rights issue. It is affecting, especially, developing countries, women, children, and people of color more than anyone else.

“What is at stake right now, what we are fighting to protect, what is in your hands, what is in our hands today is the survival of this generation and the continuation of the human race. That is what is at stake.

“We are approaching 21 years of United Nation climate talks and in the last 20 years of negotiations almost no agreements have been made on a bonding climate-recovery plan. Our window of opportunity to take action is shrinking as the problem exponentially increases. … Because, as I said, what’s at stake right now is the future of your children, our children, my children.

“It’s time to look to the skies for the solutions that we need. Because the future of energy is no longer down a hole. We need to reconnect and end this mindset that we have that we can continue to take whatever we want without ever giving back or understanding the harm that we are doing to the planet. It’s this mindset of destruction — of greed — that is tearing apart our planet. … We have to remember that we are all indigenous to this earth and that we are all connected.

“We are being called upon to use our courage, our innovation, our creativity, and our passion to bring forth a new world. So, in the light of this collapsing world that we see, what better time to be born than now? What better time to be alive than now? Because this generation, the people in this room right here, we get to change the course of history. Humans have created the greatest crisis that we see on the planet, and the greater the challenge, the higher we’ll rise to overcome it. … I don’t want you to stand up for us — I want you to stand up with us,” he said in his stunning speech.

Martinez has helped ban pesticides in public parks in his hometown of Boulder, introduce a fee on plastic bags, and enact a moratorium on fracking. In 2012, he was one of the youngest speakers at the RIO+20 UN Summit in Rio de Janeiro. He’s given an inspiring TED Talk on the matter, serving on President Obama’s 2013 Youth Council (after he received the 2013 United States Community Service Award).

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  1. Hate to break it to you, but it’s expected that by the year 2100 the human population will be between 11-12 billion people. A drastic culling of the human population is one of only things that will help our planet. 60-80%

    • Humans will probably be extinct by the time the planet reaches the year 2100. There are more and more problems to grow food, more and more deadly deseases that makes more and more victims every time…not even gonna talk about the climate changes making thousands of victims every year.

  2. It’s nice to see young people taking a stand for what they/we belive in.But how can u change the world when you have greedy politicians,oil-lords that are profiting from destroying the world?When everyone around us is slowly going into a dream,a nightmare,afraid to take a stance,because they are afraid of the consequences?We all need to wake up,slap ourselves if necessary and open our eyes to see the world as it is.I have friends my age (20-26) that are thinking “oh man,you again with your ideas” . People that when you explain to them that in 20-30 years there may not be a planet left to save.And i’m anti-violence,but in order to rise and defend our planet,an old system must fall,the system of greedy old man that are killing young people to satisfy their needs.

  3. If Co2 emissions are so bad, why don’t we put a ban on people talking. If you only consider that only 2% of all Co2 emissions come from human beings. Sound to me like another of hot air!

  4. What a powerful speech! This kid jerked a few tears, and I’m not one to tear up. He is right on target, we need to stop the greed, because money is not going to save the world, only we can do it, for all life on this planet, not just our blind selves.

  5. It just me, or I saw the bigest disrespect to this kids. If you noticed, those bored faces, of officials behind this kid. Furthermore, walking, chatting, during the speech of that activist. Think this speech is for nothing, because who were engaged in something else haven’t heard it.

    • The UN is a useless alliance of nothing. You would have more success trying to teach an alligator to do a handstand than have these idiots at the UN listen to anything worth while, and, furthermore to even act on it.

  6. you do know 1% is enough to push the balance of the nature. so even if you’re right then even 2 % can be enough to cause the climate change to be more violent, longer period and the up coming to climate change can be pushed much further back. the climate change will happen bc of the polar shifting, yes but we still had a choice and knowledge back in the 1992, and we could have reduced the results that we see NOW. just wait 10 yrs more and you’ll noticed how bad it really is!! just remember when your house, get destroyed by natural disaster, it’s only 2 % of the world’s homes that get destroyed and we can always rebuild it. 2% seems nothing compared to 100%, but if your body have 2% CO2, then it will die and you wouldn’t ask the same question. so the question isn’t the 2 % that we have caused, it’s how to reduce the 2% and save the planet and ourselves.. but even so, i bet that’s just a number to calm ppl down.i bet it’s 20 %, but we are not told about it. but then again, i don’t exactly know how many %, which is irrelevant. then it would be irrelevant for me if 2% of the world’s population lost their homes. which we clearly does care about, since every time a natural disaster happens, then ppl send millions of money to the place where the wave, tornado or earthquake hits. so if that’s hot air for you, then your home is just that. hot air that doesn’t count. only when it’s 100% of the world’s population that gets hit by it, then your little home is not hot air. think about that next time something is “hot air”, bc sometimes it is the “hot air” that will keep you warm! 😉 hope you’ll just consider to change your perception of responsibility and actions.. peace to you my friend. Anonymous would have been hot air if the media could have turned ppl against them. Anonymous are real news and truth, not hot air or rebels that destroy everything and create chaos. they was only 0.1%, now they are maybe 30%, but the number are much bigger now!

  7. The UN is a useless alliance of nothing. You would have more success trying to teach an alligator to do a handstand than have these idiots at the UN listen to anything worth while, and, furthermore to even act on it.


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