With the most recent election one year behind us, I’ve been reflecting on how I feel as an American and the values, ideas, and beliefs of Americans around me. It’s no news to anyone, fake or real, that President Trump doesn’t care about climate change. This is very obvious at COP23. There is an area where governments from different countries have pavilions about what their country is doing for climate change. India, China, Brazil, Germany, the UK, Australia, and many more are represented, but not the U.S. While I had expected this, I hadn’t realized how frustrated and upset that would make me. A couple days later, we attended an event at the U.S. Climate Action Center. I hadn’t known about this Center, and I wasn’t expecting what we saw inside. The Center was filled with people who care about climate change and want to see changes that reflect their beliefs in their country. While watching the documentary “Happening” by Jamie Redford, I realized how many people in the U.S. want to change things. The documentary was full of people using renewable energy to run businesses, houses, neighborhoods, cities, and states and helping others to do the same.
After the documentary was done, I had the opportunity to meet more people from the U.S. who are fighting to do what’s right, and saving the world in the process. This is a key part of American identity. The idea and belief that you have the power to change things, and doing your best to do that. While I may not agree with President Trump, he believes he can make change and is doing his best to do so. America is a country full of protesters; full of people doing all they can for causes they believe in. From winning our independence from Britain to winning gay rights in Supreme Court, we are fighters, and we will do what we believe is right. Al Gore attended the conference that same day and gave a speech about climate action. At the end of his speech, he challenged us all to take action in our own lives. The force we have as Americans to continue to push and fight for what’s right is a renewable energy in itself, and something that we need to tap into to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and the climate change challenge.