Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Young people take part in a school strike for climate in London on February 15, 2019.

Young people take part in a school strike for climate in London on February 15, 2019. (Photo: DAVID HOLT/flickr/cc)

13-Year-Old US Activist Hailed as Glorious 'Threat' to Those Driving Planetary Disaster With Climate Denialism

Alexandria Villaseñor, who's helping spearhead US #SchoolStrike4Climate actions to join global movement, says earlier generations' failure is "very disappointing"

Andrea Germanos

She's just 13 years old, but she's "a threat."

That's climate activist Alexandria Villaseñor, who explained in an interview Friday morning, "My generation is going to have to live in a climate-changed world, and the fact that nothing was done in order to make sure that we don't live in planetary catastrophe—it's very disappointing and it's upsetting."

A recent New York City transplant, Villaseñor—taking inspiration from Swedish teen Greta Thunberg—has been standing in front of the United Nations every Friday for 11 weeks. She's also co-leading the U.S. Youth Climate Strike movement, which is organizing to get thousands of students to take part in a global day of climate action on March 15.

In a tweet sent following her interview with CBS News, the teenager appeared shocked that she had actually gone on national television and "told all the adults in America that they are threatened by us!"

In fact, "yes, you are a threat," responded author and climate activist Naomi Klein, "because believing climate science means embracing deep change to a way of life that has long been equated with freedom and power (but is, in fact, a straight shot to utter powerlessness and loss of freedom)."

To those who criticize the young activists and may not believe in climate science, she said they "find it very threatening to their beliefs."

She does, however, have the support of her parents. "If I'm not going to have a future then school won't matter because we're going to be running from disasters. We're not going to have time to go to school because our house will be ruined by the latest hurricane, and they understand that this is important to my generation because we're going to have to live in this world."

To avert such disasters, U.S. Climate Strike is demanding that lawmakers implement the recently-introduced Green New Deal and that world leaders keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius.

She concluded the interview with a message for climate science deniers: "To quote Greta, change is coming whether you like it or not."

Villaseñor and fellow youth activists want to make sure that happens.

Thousands of young feet have been hitting the pavement to highlight the urgency of the climate crisis with Friday climate strikes, and Thunberg has been documenting the spreading movement she catalyzed. She also joined thousands of student marchers in Paris on Friday.

With the ongoing strikes, including the upcoming global coordinated actions, "I think what we are seeing is the beginning of great changes and that is very hopeful," she recently told the Guardian.

Aaron Gray-Block, a climate communications specialist with Greenpeace International, agrees. He writes Friday:

The inspirational climate strikes from Greta Thunberg and Alexandria Villasenor in the U.S. and many others like them show the kind of resolve and sense of purpose required. The youth suing their governments in the U.S. and Germany are also leading the way.

Now, in the lead-up to an international school climate strike on March 15, we must all show solidarity to the youth taking action.

"It must not be left to the young to clean up the climate mess older generations have created," he adds. "There is still time to avert chaos, but it requires the world's politicians and corporations to accept and embrace the responsibility of action."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Rebuke Dem Leadership as Clyburn Dismisses Death of Roe as 'Anticlimactic'

"The gap between the Democratic leadership, and younger progressives on the question of 'How Bad Is It?' is just enormous."

Julia Conley ·


In 10 Key US Senate Races, Here's How Top Candidates Responded to Roe Ruling

While Republicans unanimously welcomed the Supreme Court's rollback of half a century of reproductive rights, one Democrat said "it's just wrong that my granddaughter will have fewer freedoms than my grandmother did."

Brett Wilkins ·


Sanders Says End Filibuster to Combat 'Outrageous' Supreme Court Assault on Abortion Rights

"If Republicans can end the filibuster to install right-wing judges to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats can and must end the filibuster, codify Roe v. Wade, and make abortion legal and safe," said the Vermont senator.

Jake Johnson ·


Patients in Trigger-Ban States Immediately Denied Abortion Care in Post-Roe US

Some people scheduled to receive abortions were turned away within minutes of the right-wing Supreme Court's decision to strike down Roe v. Wade.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo