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Climate and Environment

Young Angelenos Take Climate Crisis Into Their Own Hands

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Recycling and trash bins
(denisetaylor
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LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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As Earth Day approaches on April 22, young climate activists are working hard to clean up their communities.

Edgar McGregor, 20, has spent the past two years clearing Pasadena’s Eaton Canyon trails of trash and litter, armed with only a bucket, gloves and trash bags. He’s now calling on local and federal governments to "step up and do their part."

“The problem that we face right now is that our civilization is taxing life on planet Earth in ways it can not sustain,” he says.

McGregor adds that local and federal governments need to take responsibility.

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“Our government is putting it on the consumer to stop littering, but there will never not be litterbugs,” he says. “The only feasible solution is to hire people to go out to all of our local parks, all our rivers, all of our beaches and into the ocean and clean up this trash.”

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Sarah Goody is the founder of ClimateNow, a youth-led organization that empowers young people to discuss the climate crisis and take action.

“We've really switched the way that we approach climate change, and I think that's treating it like the emergency it is,” she says. “The conversation in the past two years was really focused on [the fact] that this is impacting people today. It is especially impacting communities of color, and for those reasons, we can't just treat it like something far ahead in the future.”

Goody adds that part of the conversation shift also includes the delineation between what falls under the umbrella of climate “change” versus climate “crisis.”

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“Climate change is the act of what we're experiencing, changes in our global temperatures,” she says. “The climate crisis entails everything that involves, not just in our environment and not just at specifically these rising temperatures, but human experiences.”