- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Some students who gathered in Lincoln at the Nebraska Youth Summit on Climate want to move from debate into action, they said.

Organizers said Thursday’s summit was designed to give the young people a voice by teaching them the legislative process and advising them on how to have effective meetings with lawmakers, how to testify and how to get the media involved.

Lilian Turcios, who works at the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, told the more than 60 students who attended that they must focus outreach efforts on all communities, including the poor and disenfranchised.

“Climate change isn’t just a white problem,” Turcios said. “People of color are suffering through this with us.”

People shouldn’t be afraid to talk to their friends about their behavior and to speak up when businesses don’t follow responsible practices, said Creighton University student Haley Ourada.

“It’s important for all of us to use our voices as consumers,” she said.

The summit was the brainchild of state Sen. Ken Haar, who told the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1nCRxmQ) that he was struck by how few young people attended a series of discussions this fall on the effects of climate change in Nebraska. Many of the effects of climate change will be apparent by the middle of this century, he said. That’s long after most of the adults at the discussions will be gone and their children and even grandchildren will be making policy decisions.

“So we need to listen to them, because for them it’s more than academic, it’s the world they’ll be living in,” Haar said.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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