Hi, my name is Dylan and if you’re reading this, I’ll bet that we have something in common: we both have a lot to lose if we don’t address climate change. My generation has no choice but to combat the inevitable impacts of rising sea levels, increased storm surges and threats to our agricultural systems. I fear that the current immigration crisis will continue to intensify as people are driven from their homes, while global conflicts escalate over resource scarcity.
As the son of young parents, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother growing up and she taught me that we, as residents of this planet, have an obligation to preserve it. As a lifetime steward of the environment, my grandmother instilled within me the values and importance of conserving our earth. I spent countless hours at the Massachusetts Audubon Society, learning wilderness skills from both of my grandparents and hearing stories of the great experiences they have had throughout their lives. These lessons created the spark that propelled me into the line of work I find myself in today.
While at the the University of New Hampshire, I began taking courses on renewable energy, sustainability and public policy. It was in one of these classes where I first heard about 350NH and signed on as a volunteer for their offshore wind campaign. After working with them to bring clean, renewable wind energy to NH, I asked about summer internship opportunities and now find myself working on challenging and important issues around the state of New Hampshire.
As a young person, issues such as climate change, the deployment of renewable energy and promoting responsible and passionate leaders who will serve the people, instead of the fossil fuel industry, are important to me. I decided to work with 350NH in order to put these values into action. As we live in a relatively secure society here in the United States, I understand why it is easy to feel apathetic about these issues. Although our way of life may not be threatened by the impacts of climate change as rapidly as in other places, such as Puerto Rico or an island in the South Pacific, it is only a matter of time before we see and feel the impacts of climate change here at home. Lyme ticks, rising tides, and increasingly volatile weather are some of the ways that our community here in NH is already feeling the impacts of climate change. Our society has immense privilege and wealth and we are lucky to have the infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of climate change, but we are also the ones causing the problem. With our unique platform here, in the land of the free, we have the power to make real change for us and for the world.
During my time as an intern here, we have worked with communities to educate and raise awareness about issues that will have effects on our state for years to come. These include the construction of irresponsible fossil fuel infrastructure projects, such as the Granite Bridge pipeline, engaging in discussion with congressional and gubernatorial candidates about important issues in New Hampshire, working to bring offshore wind energy to the Gulf of Maine and more. We do this work through trainings, educational events, rallies, work with town governments, art creation, peaceful direct action and more.
Although we work on serious and important issues at 350NH, the communities we work and live in, the folks who volunteer with us and the many people in New Hampshire who believe in a better future, bring a unique and hopeful spirit to the work that we do. We welcome anyone who is interested to volunteer with us to fight for climate justice*.
We can make great change through community action, but it is the ideas and values of the individuals that bring strength to the community.
Dylan Reed, 350NH Summer Intern