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Charlotte Talks: 'I'm Scared For My Future.' Local Teens Push For Action On Climate Change


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Young people are on the front lines in raising concerns over climate change and we meet some local teens who are part of a global movement to encourage leaders to take action on our warming planet.

Mary Ellis Stevens, Lucia Paulsen, and Kate Harrison

On this post-Earth Day edition of Charlotte Talks, we hear what some local young people are doing to bring more attention to climate change. Fourteen-year-old climate activist Mary Ellis Stevens has been skipping school and striking outside of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center for the past eight Fridays. She’s part of a global movement to encourage our elected leaders to address the warming planet.

Mary Ellis Stevens striking for climate action with (from left) Julia Duffy and Alyssa Smith of Myers Park High School, Julia Caussil of Hopewell.

Stevens told Charlotte Talks about her concerns and why she's striking:

"It’s all very terrifying – the prospects that I will grow up and my children, and grandchildren, in a world that’s being devastated by natural disasters. And depending on how much action is taken – there is the prospect of global war and food and water crises. In simple terms, I’m scared for my future."

We talk with her and others involved in the movement about their goals and hear about the next nationwide Youth Climate Strike scheduled for May 3.

Credit WFAE/Jennifer Worsham
Lucia Paulsen, Kate Harrison, and Mary Ellis Stevens in Charlotte Talks' Spirit Square studio


Mary Ellis Stevens, 14-year-old climate activist

Lucia Paulsen, 13-year-old climate activist

Kate Harrison, 13-year-old climate activist

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.