Learn. Dream. Do. Inspire.Kids Change the World.
In 2018, The Sierra Club adopted The Global Warming Express Program to help to bring it to kids throughout the chapter’s territory. The Global Warming Express (GWE) is a climate change education and advocacy non-profit program created By kids/For kids, ages 8-12. An 8-year-old girl, Marina Weber, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, decided to address her concern about climate change by writing a book to give to the President and by starting a kids’ movement to work with the problem. The book, The Global Warming Express, illustrated by her friend, Joanna Whysner, was given to President Obama to remind him of the urgency of the problem. The kids’ movement began with 10 children from one elementary school, who were concerned that grownups would not listen to them. Their actions over that year changed their environment and their city’s policies.
In the six years since its inception, The Global Warming Express has become a fast-growing kids’ movement in elementary schools in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Los Alamos and Las Cruces, NM. Programs at each school meet weekly, to learn science, climate science, sustainable solutions, expression through arts and advocacy. Each group of students sets Small and Big goals for themselves to accomplish in their community, city or state, through civic engagement- public speaking and letter writing-and action (visual and performing arts).
The GWE kids have been invited to give talks and performances all over New Mexico, and to connect with groups in other states. They have met with climatologist Dr. James Hansenand have become well known toU.S. Senator Tom Udall, U.S.Representative Ben Ray Lujan, several of the New Mexico mayors and many other enthusiastic, influential adults. Our kids have been filmed for an HBO 4-part series on kids and the environment aired in September, 2014, have helped to pass the plastic bag ban and 10 cent paper bag fees in Santa Fe, have solarized a school, started gardens, upgraded recycling efforts, and sat on one mayor’s prestigious Climate Action Task Force, for two years. In the 2017/18 school year, the GWE kids in Los Cruces, ABQ and Santa Fe created actions with their mayors to move sustainability efforts forward and their joint work will continue in the 2018/19 school year.2018/19 will mark the GWE’s 6thschool year, with 15 schools and 18 programs running throughout the state.
The GWE has won several national and local honors and awards, including a Sustainable Santa Fe Award and The Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.
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