Taylor Turman, a tenth grader at Northern Lights Community School and local beekeeper, was a climate storyteller featured during our Youth Convening Minnesota project at the convening in Warba, Minnesota.
I grew up in Grand Rapids, my family having moved here when I was four.
When I was in the second grade, my dad retired and took up the hobby of beekeeping. He got me my own suit, started taking me out to the hives, and I instantly fell in love. The bees were always very gentle creatures, and just being around the smell of comb wax and the sound of gentle buzzing instantly relaxed me. The business was passed down to me when I was fifteen, and I have been managing it for almost a year now.
I’ve always had a passion for science, which had always been inspired and encouraged by my mom. Especially physics and environmental science.
I first heard about climate change in elementary school, which a lot of my classmates just said was fake, some conspiracy. But my mom encouraged me to do my own research. Seeing charts of how the average temperature climbed higher and higher every year was the final detail that strengthened my belief that climate change was, in fact, very much real.
After that, it was hard to understand why anyone would try and dispute climate change.
From debating with others on the topic, I realized that the younger they were, the more likely they were to come around on the truth. While the older generation was stuck in their ways, the younger kids were willing to learn, change, and grow.
It was bittersweet; most youth of today realize this is an issue that needs solving, but the people who have more power to actually do something about it—our decision makers—refuse to, ignoring the problem and creating a mess that is left for my generation to clean up. They keep thinking that since they are not experiencing direct impacts of climate change themselves, it’s not affecting them. That it doesn’t matter, that it’s a problem for the future.
They don’t realize that it’s affecting us right now.
My love for bees and other pollinators has helped me understand how sensitive changes in our environment can have a great effect.
And that it is up to us to protect the things that we love.
Climate change has been affecting the weather patterns. They’re becoming almost erratic. This has been doing a lot of damage to some seasonal businesses, like mine. If the winter is too short, the flowers die off before the bees come out of hibernation. If it’s too long, the bees die off from the prolonged cold.
It’s easy to get depressed thinking about climate change. We have this planet, and this planet alone, to call home. And yet, we treat it like we have another one to go to when things go wrong.
But the youth of today give me hope.
As long as there are people willing to step up and take charge of these issues and demand that others become a part of the solution, then perhaps we have a fighting chance of reversing some of the damage that has been done.
Want to contribute to our storytelling collection? Share your climate story with us.