16 Year Old Climate Activist Unites Generation Around Climate Crisis

Climate Counts' Green Watching Campaign Teams Up with iMatter March
Apr 22, 2011 12:26 PM ET
Campaign: Green Watching

Climate Counts Blog

My name is Alec Loorz, I am 16 years old and I founded iMatter as part of Kids vs. Global Warming. Our generation, which stands to lose the most from our changing climate, is being ignored. iMatter is about young people standing up and telling the world that they matter. 

So what do you do when you have been ignored? You demand attention. We will be marching in cities across the globe on the same day to show that youth are united in our demand for change.   Our governments are ignoring our right to inherit a planet we can inhabit. It is wrong.  And we will not tolerate it any longer. The time has now come for the youth of this planet to stand up together and change our own habits and demand that our leaders prioritize our futures and take action to reduce emissions immediately.   Because my generation cares about our future I know our iMatter march will be a huge success and will help show the world when it comes to climate change we all matter. The press and media love seeing people march for their rights, after all a democratic voice is what this country is built on. Unfortunately I can’t vote out politicians that don’t care about my future and marches only happen once in a while. Fortunately, in the run-up to our iMatter march and every day after I can inspire my friends to raise their climate voices and make climate choice. As kids we consume products and advertisements everyday. We’re always part of the marketplace whether we want to be or not. If we’re lucky enough to have parents buying us food, toys and clothes we’re handing over our family dollars to companies that either care about climate change or don’t.   Let me explain. I love Apple, I am 16 - it’s impossible to separate me from my iPhone, and I am typing this on a Macbook. I was pumped when Apple left the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because it disagreed on the organization’s negative stance on climate action. So when I read a few weeks ago a group of 36 Chinese environmental groups has accused Apple of failing to address concerns over pollution and worker health issues from workers and environmental groups, I wanted to tell Apple how I felt. Apple products, along with many other electronic companies scored by Climate Counts are reliant on products produced in Chinese factories. Not only are these factories coal powered, but they frequently use chemicals and products that are beyond harmful to our environment - kind of scary stuff considering almost all of my friends have cell phones now…   But what’s most interesting to me is that Apple’s Climate Counts score, along with almost every other electronic company scored by Climate Counts has gone up every year since the first scores were released in 2007. This got me thinking, if companies don’t always listen to workers and environmentalist, maybe the reason their Climate Counts scores are improving is because they listen to me, as a consumer. If we as consumers demand companies address their environmental problems, companies will have to pay attention. If we as consumers tell companies we’re done buying their products until they take action, companies will have to respond.   In the run up to my iMatter march on May 8th we’re teaming up with the Climate Counts Green Watching campaign telling the 12 electronic and 10 toy companies on Twitter and through e-mail that ‘Climate Counts and iMatter!’ First up Apple: Hey @Appletweets, I’m #Green, I’m Watching and @ClimateCounts! #imttrmrch…Do you?   -Alec Loorz Founder of Kids vs Global Warming   Send your message from the Climate Counts website or download the free Climate Counts iPhone app.   About iMatter iMatter began as a simple video, created by Alec Loorz, the founder of Kids vs Global Warming when he was 13 year old. Now it’s a global campaign meant to unite the voices of a generation on the most urgent issue of our time.   The iMatter March is the launch of the campaign. Following the Mother’s Day event, youth will remain engaged with online training and youth-to-youth education and advocacy campaigns that will inspire action on behalf of their generation and those to come.   About Climate Counts Climate Counts is a non-profit campaign that scores companies annually on the basis of their voluntary action to reverse climate change. The Climate Counts Company Scorecard helps people vote with their dollars by making climate-conscious purchasing and investing choices that put pressure on the world's most well-known companies to take the issue of climate change seriously. Launched with support from organics pioneer Stonyfield Farm, Climate Counts believes everyday consumers can be the most important activists in the fight against global warming. Climate Counts has currently evaluated nearly 150 companies in sixteen major consumer sectors. Climate Counts' work has appeared in many of the world's leading media outlets, among them the New York Times, National Public Radio, The Economist, BBC World Service, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, and the Harvard Business Review. The organization launched its free iPhone app and its voluntary Climate Counts Industry Innovators (i2) program in early 2010