This 14-Year-Old Climate Activist Is Giving Up School to Save the World

Alexandria Villaseñor is standing in front of the U.S. Capitol and posting Instagram stories like any other teenager.

“Is there any good music that goes with climate action?” the 14-year-old asks a group of activists.

A couple of suggestions later, a song that’s more than twice her age blasts from her phone speakers on abbreviated loop: “It’s the end of the world as we know it… It’s the end of the world as we know it…”

And Alexandria doesn’t feel fine. Over the next few hours, she’ll have meetings with both of New York’s senators to ask them to do what they can to ensure her generation doesn’t experience the actual end of the world because of climate change.

“I notice a lot of politicians are looking at what is politically possible,” she told VICE News in an interview. “But I did think with some politicians I talk to that we’re on the same page on how urgent this is.”

Around the globe, young people like Alexandria see the climate crisis as the existential threat to their generation. They’ve skipped school in more than 130 countries to demand policy changes, following the lead of Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old from Sweden who is currently sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to attend the United Nations climate talks in September.

As one of the movement’s American organizers, Alexandria has also become a prominent young critic of world leaders’ inaction. Even though nearly 200 countries pledged in the Paris Agreement to keep global temperatures from hitting catastrophic levels, laws and norms aren’t changing quickly enough, and global greenhouse gas emissions are still going up.

When her classmates go back to middle school this fall, Alexandria won’t be joining them. Instead, she’ll take on eighth grade via independent study so that she can lead her global youth network, Earth Uprising, and continue her activism at full blast.

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20 comments

  1. “I notice a lot of politicians are looking at what is politically possible,” she told VICE News in an interview. “But I did think with some politicians I talk to that we’re on the same page on how urgent this is.”
    WATCH NEXT: This Climate Pioneer Is Trying To Stop The Arctic From Melting –

  2. I honestly might just buy a big rig, then rev the engine a bit in front of these people so they can see first hand what my exhaust thinks of their protest.

  3. The problem I have with AOC Green New Deal is she’s only focusing on this country if you get only one country to comply what about the hundreds of countries that won’t you beating your own head against the wall China is the worst pollution country in the world you’re going to have them change I doubt it I would love to see more emissions less pollution but it’s not going to happen. I was a commercial fisherman for 36 years in that time I’ve seen the worst of the worst out to sea and I would love to see a change but it won’t he can’t get one country to do what you wanted to do if the rest of the world will not comply

  4. World leaders. Punish this country when the rest of the world does nothing to change the world. Get real about the way the rest of the would WILL GO. Your will only destroy this country. Get real and wake up to where the rest of the world will go. Just go laugh about it and think you are changing the world when you only are bringing a death wish for America. Wake up to what you pursue.

  5. She doesn’t realize the green new deal means electricty shortages and higher prices, higher gas prices, jobs disappearing overseas where the energy prices are lower and finally no new industries coming back to America. I am glad President Trump is in charge and doesn’t listen to all this nonsense. Just as a footnote there are 61 coal fired power stations either planned or under construction which is good for Australia as we are the world’s largest exporter because our coal is first class and readily available at lower prices. If I was an American I would be voting for Donald J Trump for president.

  6. I live in Arkansas okay if the Earth is heating up why the f*** is it so cold. in October it ain’t ever been this chilly in October. you got to learn how to face it like it is okay this is socialist indoctrination is what they want. They want to see communism rise and they want to see America fall.

  7. There is no climate crisis it is a lie of the Democrats to rob the people through taxation.