“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
This is the motto of Earth Guardians, a youth environmental and activist group founded by self-described indigenous environmental eco-hip-hop artist youth spokesperson Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, who at 15 is already a leader.
“Climate change is one of the greatest issues of our time, and we must act now so generations in the future should never have to fight the way we have today,” he says in the video below, Kid Warrior Paris: A Generation’s Call to Action, released after he attended the COP21 climate summit in December.
Xiuhtezcatl has been taking his elders to task for a few years now, reminding them through music, art and public appearances—from the September 2014 People’s Climate March in New York City, to the United Nations Indigenous Peoples Forum, to the Paris COP21 talks—that the future of the planet is not at stake; it’s our future as human beings.
“There will be leaders here making decisions on climate change as to the way things will work in the future,” he says. “It starts with one person but grows into a movement. Tell the world leaders why they have to listen to you. And remind them who the real leaders are.”