Young Activists Rally Against Climate Change in Keene

Jul 22, 2018

17-year-old Conor Hill, a rising senior at Keene High School, calls for local politicians to embrace renewable energy sources.
Credit Savannah Maher/NHPR

Hundreds gathered in Washington, D.C. on Saturday for the National Youth Climate March. A group of teenagers in Keene wanted to take a more local stand.

"When you see the climate marches in New York and D.C., you definitely feel sometimes as if you have to live in a larger city in order to be involved," said 17-year-old Eleanor Hayward, a rising senior at Keene High School and one of the organizers of the Keene Youth Climate Rally.

She hopes that seeing their neighbors taking action will show Granite Staters that their voices matter when it comes to climate change. 

17-year-old Conor Hill kicked off the rally with a speech criticizing the Trump administration's environmental policies and Governor Chris Sununu for standing by them. 

"To me, putting America first is investing in future generations rather than throwing money at dead energy sources like coal," Hill told the crowd. 

He said that local politicians need to embrace renewable energy sources or lose young people's support. 

Attendees listen to a speaker and hold signs at Saturday's rally.
Credit Savannah Maher/NHPR

"We are the generation that has been dealt rising sea levels and a cooking planet," Hill said. "We need to transition away from fossil fuels. We need a clean energy revolution and we need it now."

The rally drew a crowd of about 50 people, including state and local lawmakers. Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen had letters of support read on their behalf.