Baratunde Thurston 0:02
Welcome to How to Citizen with Baratunde, a podcast that reimagins citizen as a verb, not a legal status. This season is all about tech and how it can bring us together instead of tearing us apart. We're bringing you the people using technology for so much more than revenue and user growth; they're using it to help us citizen
Can you take me to the scene of the March itself?
Jamie Margolin 0:40
Exterior daytime, American capital, a group of young people are standing, had the stage set up with a big banner and a bunch of signs, flags and all sorts of things, banners, everything...
Archival (Jamie Margolin) 0:53
...You're in the power and I feel this energy, and it's incredible. So keep it up. Okay...
Jamie Margolin 1:00
...Rallying for the climate and getting ready for the March...
Archival (Jamie Margolin) 1:03
...Call your representatives, tell them that it's a priority for you...
Jamie Margolin 1:05
...And it just absolutely starts pouring just torrential downpour. It was raining so hard. I'm not talking like, "oh, it drizzled." I'm talking torrential downpour, your phone vibrates saying "flash flood alert, not safe to be outside," and I remember crying and being really upset throughout the whole thing that just like, "oh no, it's not a sunny beautiful day like I wanted it to be! Why did it have to rain? We worked so hard for this day for a whole year and everything like that." A lot of the water protectors from Standing Rock were there that day, they came all the way from different reservations to come be at the March and Sebi Medina-Tayac, who is an indigenous climate activist, kept emphasizing "water is life. There's nothing inherently wrong with it raining." Soaked like wet rats, just dripping like we had all just been through a very unforgiving shower, and the paint from some of our signs was just dripped. It literally bled into the canvas of one of our banners, but we still marched, we still rallied. One of the rally leaders yelled out, "the rain brings out the real ones," and so it was just a bunch of the real ones just in it together. Finishing this march with rain ponchos, trying to stay warm, and it was just this emotional sense of solidarity and family. The pictures from that day is just us crusading against the storm, and you can see them, just look up Zero Hour Youth Climate March 2018. The next day in the New York Times, we had a full spread in the Sunday Times about the work that we were doing and we still made an impact like we were making a difference.
Baratunde Thurston 3:05
I like to think that Mother Earth was also weeping out of appreciation, you know, for you taking a stand, so maybe you think about it that way, as well.
Jamie Margolin 3:15
She weeped in a temperature that was a little colder than preferred. I appreciate it and I love her sentiment, but if the next time she weeps out of appreciation for an action that I do outdoors, if it could not make me shiver that would be amazing.
Baratunde Thurston 3:30
I'll put in a word, you put in a word.
Jamie Margolin 3:32
I'm grateful for her, but I was very cold.
Baratunde Thurston 3:38
Jamie Margolin is a 19-year-old global leader in the fight against climate change. She co-founded Zero Hour, a youth led movement of activists who are organizing grassroots efforts for environmental issues. Jamie wears a ton of hats as an organizer, activist, author and fellow podcaster. The future of the planet is tied to Jamie's future. She and so many young people like herself are demanding action from those who currently hold power. Her 2020 book, Youth to Power, gives people of all ages a guidebook to starting a movement. In that book, Jamie details how to organize, fundraise and communicate with people across the globe effectively. I care a lot about the climate crisis because I like having a livable planet and I understand how urgent it is. I'd like to believe that tech can help us, but I just don't know. So when it comes to climate change, is technology helping or making the situation worse? I wanted to hear from someone on the ground fighting for the planet, fighting for us. A person who was born in the age of smartphones and social media who's got an intimate relationship with tech. In other words, Jamie. Is tech empowering a whole generation to get involved? If so, I wanted to find out how. What methods are they using? What does it take to host the Youth Climate March at the age of 16?
Good to see you. Hello.
Jamie Margolin 5:12
It is so good to see you too.
Baratunde Thurston 5:14
Thank you for making the time. I know you're busy trying to help save our only home planet, so just appreciation right up top for what you're up to.
Jamie Margolin 5:22
Thank you. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Baratunde Thurston 5:24
Can you say your full name, introduce yourself and what it is you do?
Jamie Margolin 5:28
Yeah, hello, everyone. My name is Jamie Margolin. I'm 19-years-old. I'm a climate justice organizer, film student at NYU and a plaintiff on the Youth v. Gov lawsuit suing the state of Washington for continuing to worsen the climate crisis--that lawsuit is still going on--and I'm the co-founder of an international youth climate justice organization called Zero Hour, author of a book called Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It, which is a guide to being a young organizer for any cause for anyone who wants to get involved. I'm also a filmmaker and a screenwriter. I just released the pilot of a show that I wrote and directed and acted in called Art Majors about queer teens in college, and I am also the host of a podcast called Lavendar You, which is a queer media analysis podcast. So yeah, and I'm a sophomore in college.
Baratunde Thurston 6:21
Jamie, why aren't you doing more with your life? You're busy. I know what busy is, so I say this as a busy person. You're busy. Good for you, good for you. We're in this project this whole season talking about tech, and how we can help us be active citizens as opposed to undermine that. And I really wanted to talk to you about tech and activism. And it was very natural because I met you because of a tech platform.
Jamie Margolin 6:54
Baratunde Thurston 6:54
Let's check our memories here. As I recall, you hit me up on a Twitter DM in the summer of 2018 and you're like, "would you be willing to help out? We're doing like a climate youth march and we can use your help." And I was like, "yeah, I'm down. Cool. What do you need?" And then I just got hit with Zoom invites and text messages. I was on a conference call. People were assigning me things to do, and I remember, specifically, you had a message that was because I had access to media--I was going on cable news fairly frequently--and you're like, "all these people talking about the climate crisis, they're not going to be subjected to it the way my generation is. They need to have young people on talking about the climate crisis," and you say, "so what I need you to do is I need you to introduce me to booker's at The Daily Show, at MSNBC, CNN." And I jumped on a Zoom, I was on the Amtrak train going probably between New York and DC, and I was on the Zoom with a Google spreadsheet open agreeing like, "yeah, I'll get you the Ari Melber, and I'll try with Brian Williams," and we had divided this list. There were five of you, and a couple of old people like me, and it was so bold and so beautiful. Is that how you remember it?
Jamie Margolin 8:19
Okay, I'm a lot more of a subtle person now as a 19-year-old then the way I approach people as a 16-year-old, where I was like, "do thing for me, please."
Baratunde Thurston 8:31
Oh, yes, you've matured and aged.
Jamie Margolin 8:37
The funny thing is, this is gonna sound terrible, but I actually don't even remember that conversation because I had like, around that time, I did that to, like... I think it might have stood out to you because you were like, "what the hell is this?" But I was just on so many calls and just trying to get so many people to mobilize, and I was a ball of stress because I was like, "this March has to change everything." I was just so in action mode, that I was annoying like that on many a call.
Baratunde Thurston 9:11
I have had moments in my life where I'm in this fugue state, and I don't remember stuff either, so I'm not really taking it personally, nut it is amusing to me and I will hold this over your head for the rest of our lives. Also it's complimentary, you, in my view, were right to be fired up. You were right to demand that there are too many people on television talking about this thing that don't know what they're talking about, and the people closer to the problem should be closer to talking about these solutions. I love you know what Zero Hour's about, we'll get into that, so I don't take it as, "oh, Jamie was that annoying kid that dragged me into a Zoom. Jamie was this right person who is enlisting me to help adjust cause."
Jamie Margolin 9:54
iThe fact that most people, I guess, know me from what I've done three years ago and I'm such a vastly different person now is such a weird disconnect, because I was a child. I still am young, but there is a lot that happens and a lot of maturing and growing up that I've had to do just in my personal life and in life in general,
Baratunde Thurston 10:11
To be frank, which is sincere, I was 16 and I was very different when I was 19, and I'm certainly different at 44. We're all always changing, so I'm giving you a hard time, but it's not real. So you've done something else that a lot of us haven't done, you testified before Congress back in 2019.
Archival (Jamie Margolin) 10:29
People call my generation Generation Z, as if we are the last generation, but we are not. We are refusing to be the last letter of the alphabet.
Baratunde Thurston 10:37
What were you saying to these federal elected officials, and what's your take on the federal government response to this crisis?
Jamie Margolin 10:44
Well, what I was saying to them is basically that it's very rare that they hear from a young, social justice leader, and it's a lot more often that they hear from fossil fuel lobbyists, and so I said, "for the couple minutes that you're listening to me right now, the vast majority of the time, the people in your ears are the ones who are funding our destruction." I talked about the Pacific Northwest where I'm from, I've talked about just all the frustration that I've been feeling and broke down a lot of the myths that they kept perpetuating, like, "we can't take action because China isn't," and just all these ridiculous arguments that they were making. I told them about the science. I told them that we have no more time to act, that how can they look their children in the eye and tell them that they didn't do everything they could to save their lives and futures before it's too late?
Baratunde Thurston 11:29
Yeah. Do you think anybody heard you?
Jamie Margolin 11:31
I know that a lot of people in the public heard me. It went semi viral, and a lot of people were inspired by it and were complimenting, but the thing is I think the people that were amplifying it were people that already supported my message anyway. It was covered by Breitbart and a lot of conservative media, and it was on Fox News...
Archival (Tucker Carlson) 11:31
Another demand of the youth climate strike group is what they're calling, quote, "comprehensive climate change education." They want it for children aged 5 to 14. 5 years old, why so young? In other words, brainwashing is easier when they're little.
Jamie Margolin 12:05
...And they were reporting on it satirically, but it was still coverage from people who were hearing my message anyway. It's funny because their headlines would be mocking, like "radical climate activist says climate change is a racist issue," and I'm like, "correct," and they say it like it's a bad thing.
Baratunde Thurston 12:22
And you made Fox News say climate change. You made Fox News say climate change.
Jamie Margolin 12:27
I made them say climate change. I mean, even if they're making fun of me, I did my part.
Baratunde Thurston 12:32
When you set up this contrast of who our politicians listen to, overwhelmingly more time spent with fossil fuel executives than with the future generations inheriting this world, I wonder. A lot of us see climate and the climate crisis, we frame it in terms of fossil fuels and industrial output things since the Industrial Revolution. You have a broader view, and a slightly different view of just how to define this crisis. How do you define it?
Jamie Margolin 12:59
Well, I define the climate crisis as the grand culmination of all of our societal evils coming together in one big, bad final video game boss. That's how I view it. You know?
Baratunde Thurston 13:12
Jamie Margolin 13:14
I view it as a combination of the consequences of colonialism, racism, patriarchy, capitalism on steroids, everything combined into this monster that is us causing our own destruction. I mean, we know literally, where climate change came from: the Industrial Revolution and greenhouse gas emissions. If you go back further, how did we get to a society that was so inherently extractive? You go back to colonialism, and the triangle trade and the genocide of indigenous people, and that way of life and existing with Earth, as opposed to the European colonial way of existing and extracting from the earth. That way of moving through the world, of not moving through it in collaboration or in harmony, but moving through it in competition and in greed is the root of how we're in this. So when people are like, "stop talking about gender," or "stop talking about race, we need to focus on climate," or "this is about the environment," they're not understanding that we exist in the environment, so our issues are inherently intertwined. We are not separate from it. We're not separate from the oxygen we breathe, because without it we would be too dead to be having this conversation.
Baratunde Thurston 14:24
You're very good, Jamie. Very good. When we come back, Jamie shares the tension of using tech and its attempts to use her.
When you were first starting out, what did you think it would take to build a social movement around climate change, and what did it end up actually taking?
Jamie Margolin 14:50
It ended up taking what I thought it would take. I wasn't under the fantasy that I would post one thing on Instagram and it would magically blow up virally, and then everything would come together and it would be perfect, and I would save the world. "Yay, we're done!"
Baratunde Thurston 15:01
That's not how activism works in the 21st century?
Jamie Margolin 15:03
No, no, it's not. What took me by surprise, and what shouldn't have, is the amount of people-skills and collaboration that it would need. I'm an only child, grew up without a pet, and so I've just been that nerdy girl. I mean, I had friends and things, but I was always kind of learning to entertain myself, do projects by myself. In my head, I was like, "how hard is managing a massive group of very opinionated teenagers from all around the country going to be? It will be easy? I was worried about the work, but I didn't think about management and team-building. I hated group projects at school. This was the ultimate group project that I cared so deeply about, and at some point, it got too big to be in my own control. I didn't expect when your child that grows you and it's no longer even about you, and that was fine. The goal was never for it to be about me. I'm glad when I hear people recognize Zero Hour, but they have no idea who I am. I'm like, that's perfect, but it was both thrilling, and also scary, because I had to let go, because this was no longer my brainchild, my passion, my dream, it now meant something to other people. So I suddenly felt like I had transferred a dream onto others, and now they were invested in, so I didn't expect the pressure of feeling responsible for not letting everyone down too.
Yeah. Break down how you approach using technology to support your activism.
Yeah, and there's a whole chapter in Youth to Power that's all about digital organizing, and how to use social media to your advantage while not letting it use you. The main things that I talked about were a consolidated message, things like coming up with a campaign hashtag and accounts, and graphics, and concise messaging links, making sure that things are very easy for people, how to have a coordinated press kit. Let's say you're promoting an action, when Zero Gour was promoting our Youth Climate March, for example, in 2018, we had specific graphics that our designer Nadia Nazar made, as well as some hashtags and pre-written-out captions that we would send to people to then post online to get more people to sign up and register for this event. We were using toolkits, which is just like a Google Drive with all of the things compiled. Also, DMing people, as I did to you, may be a little annoying, but also I knew what I was doing and I had a real vision, so people listened to me, but maybe don't be as annoying as I was when I was 16.
Baratunde Thurston 17:33
When you think about the platforms you rely on, what do you use the most? What do you rely on the most?
Jamie Margolin 17:39
In terms of internal organizing, Google Drive is like the thing. That is the Holy Grail of all things, whether I'm filmmaking, or starting an organization, or writing a book; so if you aren't in on the Google Drive magic, Google doesn't need me, I don't need to advertise for them. I don't know why I'm like, "check out Google. They're a small business that could really use your help." No, what I mean is that's the biggest internal tool. Also Slack, people use Slack a lot. I'm using the word tool too much, but it is a great tool.
Baratunde Thurston 18:13
Yeah. How does Zero Hour continue to use tech to organize and stay relevant, and what are y'all using to fundraise? Is there anything that feels novel about how you've deployed tech or communicated with each other or built coalitions because of what tech has enabled that maybe some other error might not have afforded you?
Jamie Margolin 18:32
Yeah, I mean, crowdfunding is huge. GoFundMe, and Action Network and crowdfunding sites, or also crowd petition-gathering sites, or email-gathering platforms, mailing servers... Ways to disseminate information on a mass level and ways to crowdfund is something that people before us didn't have access to, where I can just open up a website, put together a thing, like, "hey, help us raise money for this" or "come to this event," put in a location... that makes things a lot more accessible.
Baratunde Thurston 19:01
Do you struggle at all with the tech that you depend on, given how so much of it isn't designed with our collective best interest in mind?
Jamie Margolin 19:11
Absolutely. Social media gives me a lot of anxiety because it's very overstimulating to know every single bad event in the world happening at all times. That's why there's the term Doom Scrolling. It's also discouraging when you see creators who you admire being censored or punished for simply posting queer content, or other content that a lot of the algorithms consider violating guidelines or whatever. I used to feel the pressure to weigh in about everything all the time, like, "oh, I need to comment about all the things" and then I'm like, "why do I need to comment on all of the things?" Bo Burnham had a great special called Inside, where he's like, "can any one person in one place shut up about one thing for one hour, please?" I resonated with that, because there's just so much noise.
Baratunde Thurston 20:03
Jamie Margolin 20:04
Then this is fake and designed to make me get addicted. It has benefits, and I will use it for those, but I'm going to create a healthy boundaries so that the number of likes does not affect how I feel about it at all. It's just like, "well, the algorithm didn't like that, whatever," instead of caring like it wants us to, and using social media as a tool and not letting it use me, because, for a while, I was letting it use me.
Baratunde Thurston 20:30
With organizing the technical element of organizing being so much simpler with modern technology than it was 50 years ago, do you think that shifts your available use of energy away from the tool to the organizing itself?
Jamie Margolin 20:46
Yeah, definitely. I just feel like, I mean, the myth of technology is that it makes it so we don't have to work anymore and it does everything for us. My dad was telling me that back in the invention of the computer, and different things, people were like, "wow, it's gonna be so revolutionary, everyone's gonna have so much more time in their day." I don't think that's true. I think we're more busy, stressed, burnt out, and unrested than ever. So clearly, access to digital organizing tools isn't freeing us up to do other things. It's precarious tools to be using, so you will find yourself, I will do this still, where I'm like, "okay, I need to DM someone about this event," or something like that, something business-related. I go into my Instagram, I need to send a message, I see something, something pops up. Two hours later, I'm like, "what? How am I here and what was I supposed to do?" So, I don't know how time-saving it is.
Baratunde Thurston 21:42
Yeah. Well, here's a shift. Someone listening to this heard what you said about how we should consider the climate crisis. They're moved. They're motivated. What do you want them to do?
Jamie Margolin 21:58
Yeah, I think tech can help in that social media, you know, it has its downsides just like everything and, you know, people use and abuse it just like they do with any other tool that gets turned into a weapon when in the wrong hands or leveraged incorrectly. It's just like anything, it's just like a knife can be something violent or it can be used to cut, you know, some carrots for a really great soup.
Baratunde Thurston 22:26
Jamie Margolin 22:28
So, for those of you who want to use it as a useful tool, then I really encourage you to find organizations in your area. You have $10, $5 a month to spare, find a local grassroots organization online and sign up to help support them. For a grassroots organization, having that reliable income can be really helpful. Use social media for good, curate your feed to be following organizations like Zero Hour, or the International Indigenous Youth Council, or Mujeres Amazonicas, or a bunch of other great accounts to follow.
Baratunde Thurston 23:01
Do you have climate anxiety? Are you feeling hopeless? If so, stick around, I promise we've got some uplifting wisdom from Jamie on the other side.
We are used to conceiving of, you know, I read the IPCC latest report. It's overwhelming. It's unequivocal--there's a word that comes across a few times there--and I'm part of a generation, and certainly those before me, that can be pretty cynical, yet when I feel the energy of youth climate activists and climate justice folk, there's optimism there.
Jamie Margolin 23:49
Baratunde Thurston 23:50
Where is that optimism coming from, and what do you say to people who think this is just too big? We've proven unworthy this far, why would we change now?
Jamie Margolin 24:01
I mean, first of all, let's not pretend like young people are all like, "yay, we're so enthusiastic and optimistic." There is a huge level of climate anxiety and, honestly, at this point, I call it climate depression, because anxiety implies fearing for something in the future that hasn't happened yet versus depression is the sadness of the grief of the environmental destruction that is already happening, and that is so overwhelming. So for me, it has been very difficult to process. I feel, I know that sounds cheesy, and people might be like, "shut up, Jamie," but sometimes I will get to a moment where I feel the pain of the earth, and the people, and everything that's suffering, and it's overwhelming. I feel genuinely heartbroken and this deep grief. While I can go on a podcast and talk about it, and go to a protest and organize, there is only a certain level to which I can affect it because I'm one little human out of billions on this planet.
Baratunde Thurston 25:01
I feel that, I feel that.
Jamie Margolin 25:03
I think I guess the reason why we're still in this is because giving up is not an option. I just feel like it's the nature of nature to want to survive. Plants always try to grow, you know, in weird places where they're not supposed to. You'll see bugs and weird animals in places where you think, "how is anything alive?" It's life's instinct to keep having hope in itself, and so I think that's where it comes from, at this point. Honestly, with this level of climate disaster, and just sometimes I do feel like I'm at Rome right before the fall, and I'm like, "I'm learning how to integrate into Roman society when it's collapsing, this is really weird." I feel that way a lot, but then I'm also like, "what other choice do I have?"
Baratunde Thurston 25:51
Yeah. I hear you, fellow Roman. So let me ask you this, do you think technology is helping, or is it hindering the climate crisis?
Jamie Margolin 26:02
My main thing was technology and the climate crisis is that I feel like people act as if technology is somehow a replacement for social justice, or climate justice, or dismantling what has to go. I think that there is a danger in putting too much faith in innovating our way out of this, or we'll just take our way out of this, we'll build a spaceship, and we'll do this. I feel like there also has to be some respect for the natural technologies. Technology is also the ancient technologies of our planet, of the ecosystems of trees. I feel like those are technologies that we have to respect too, and when we get so caught up in trying to, I hate generalizing, but it's tech bros. You know the tech bro type where they're just like...
Baratunde Thurston 26:51
I know. I definitely know who you're talking about. Yeah.
Jamie Margolin 26:54
"...Oh, man, the climate crisis, it'll be totally fine. We'll just geoengineer everything, and then I have this spaceship to go to Mars, and we'll just suck in all the carbon with my fancy new gadget." That's not the real root solution that needs to happen. Technology does help us: solar panels, digital organizing tools, everything. The technology we're using to have this conversation right now, awesome...
Baratunde Thurston 27:19
Jamie Margolin 27:20
...But we can't act like it's a replacement for the real change that has to happen.
Baratunde Thurston 27:25
How did you come to have this expanded definition of technology?
Jamie Margolin 27:29
I think it was over time. I mean, part of it is my abuela, you know, she always would have herbal remedies and cures, and we would call her doctora Lucila, even though she's not a doctor. She didn't even receive any sort of education. She grew up as a campesina in a rural part of Colombia, but she had the ancient knowledge from her ancestors, from her mom, from her siblings, of what foods, and plants, and things are good for you and help with certain things. That is a wisdom, a sort of ancient knowledge, but I just kind of have always understood that there's other things to respect other than just what men in lab coats say. I'm a very scientific person. I believe in science, but I just mean that this is also science too. I also think of them as technologies of harnessing the power of ourselves and the planet. People talk about meditation as an ancient technology, and I've been trying to meditate regularly and tap into that.
Baratunde Thurston 28:37
Yeah, me too. Beautiful. That's really helpful. It's a dope perspective. I think it adds balance to our interpretation of technology and of ourselves; and in a moment when we're out of balance, you know, see climate crisis, we could expand our definition of technology to come back to balance by weighting a bit more respect for some of these ancient technologies you just talked about.
Jamie Margolin 29:04
Baratunde Thurston 29:06
We call this show How to Citizen. We believe in interpreting this word, not as a legal noun weapon, but rather as a verb, meaning we do stuff. When you think of the word citizen as a verb, what does it mean to you?
Jamie Margolin 29:21
I think that being a good citizen is also about knowing when to question authority in the right way.
Archival (Jamie Margolin) 29:29
We are here at the first-ever Youth Climate March on DC in our nation's history, however, youth all around the world have been marching for a lot longer than this. Youth, especially youth of color, indigenous youth, have been raising your voices for climate justice longer than we can count.
Jamie Margolin 29:46
People often criticize activists and those taking action as being poor citizens, bad patriots, "you hate your country, why are you a bad citizen?" I actually think it's very good citizenship to be protesting when something's wrong, because that shows a level of love and care for the people around you and your state, or country, or wherever you're from. If you're taking time out of your busy existence to fight for something, I think that's excellent citizenship.
Baratunde Thurston 30:15
Jamie, thank you so much for making time for us.
Jamie Margolin 30:18
Thank you so much for having me, and if people want to stay in touch with me after this, you can follow me online @Jamie_Margolin or @Jamie_S_Margolin on all social media platforms, and you can read my book Youth to Power at www.youthtopowerbook.com.
Baratunde Thurston 30:32
Thank you. I know you have to fly to the other thing. Appreciate you. DM me anytime. I had set myself up for an onslaught of tech-focused activism. I wanted this Gen Z radical to tell me what apps I should download, the up-and-coming programs to get you organized and mobilized, and how to use Tik Tok to build a revolution and save the whole dang world. Instead, she took me all the way back to ancient technology. Now in the first half of this season, we've met people who are creating whole new tech frameworks. They're coding, hacking, operating with thousands, if not millions, of people. Jamie uses Google Drive, Instagram, and a little bit of Slack, and a lot of DMs. Although her methods are less complex, it makes her endeavor more accessible, and it should be. Today, a kid anywhere in the world can learn, connect and join into this effort with Jamie tomorrow. Jamie's got this healthy humility about the role of technology when it comes to solving problems. Tech doesn't solve problems, people do. This whole interview got me thinking about what technology even is. How far back does it go? Some of our oldest technologies are connected to the earth, made of the earth. We dug our hands into the dirt, took the stone we found and sharpened it to make tools, struck them together to create fire, learned to respect flames, wild nature, manipulating that to make meals and create comfort and... Hold up, hold up. Okay, I know I'm getting a little spoken-word with all this nature talk. I think what I need is some fresh air and some perspective, so let's take this outside, and hey, I know a good spot. Being outside has always been a really important part of my life, maybe especially because I grew up in the city, but my mom would take us campig, me and my little friends on bike trips and hiking trips. Thinking about which path I'm going to take to get to my hilltop. I think I'll take a shorter one today just for time. All right, I'm approaching my favorite part of my morning hike, for the mornings when I really want to push myself. I'm about to climb a hill. You know, I joke about people in L.A. calling everything a hike, this is a hike. I'm going off-road, scrambling up dirt. Let's climb this hill. Alright, I have a little bit more to go, but let's keep walking. We talk a lot in this show about investing in relationships as one of our pillars. To citizen is to invest in relationships with yourself with others, and with the planet around you. We've evolved that, if you've been listening to us from the very beginning, we didn't say none about the planet or the environment, which is invest in relationships, but the planet part is critical. Very recently, the summer of 2021, I got to return to nature on purpose with a film crew to make this TV show for PBS called America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston, that's me. What I got most out of the America Outdoors experience is I got to spend time with three different indigenous communities. The Shoshone-Bannock in Idaho, the salmon people. We were supposed to do a traditional salmon hunt and we couldn't because of climate change, because the salmon had been cooked by their habitat, by their river. The ones that could make it were so weak that the tribe decided to leave them be, and they explained their relationship to the salmon. They said, "we call him Brother salmon. We say Father tree. These are all relations of ours, and they have taken care of us, they have provided for us for thousands of years, so it's our turn to take care of them." I think the Shoshone-Bannock would consider the salmon citizens. I think that salmon citizened for them, and so they're doing it in return. There's a reciprocity involved, and I'm so grateful that Jamie is here to remind us, our youngest guest ever, spitting some wisdom that we are part of all of this, not apart from it. I'm really hoping the wind isn't ruining this little soliloquy, and if it is, I'm gonna roll with it because the wind is just trying to drive home my point, because we are sharing this, because I wouldn't be thinking this if I wasn't here feeling these things. Alright, this is the fun part. I'm going to take you down the hill with me. My decent, I usually kind of jog down because it helps me feel like fit, active person. Next week, we take a step into a town corrupted by misinformation and disinformation, and I get to help sow the seeds of chaos. Alright, play. Let's destroy society. Congratulations, you're hired. Welcome to your first day as our new Chief Disinformation Officer. Oh, let's get started. Trust me, it's for the greater good. I can't wait for you to hear this next one. Now, you know, I can't have some young activist on the show and not give you some actions to do, so here's the actions. Jamie helped us conceive of technology in a different, more elemental way, so the first thing that I want you to do is ask yourself some questions. When you think of technology, what do you think of? When you think of nature, what do you think of? Do you ever think of the same things in the answer to both questions? Next, let's get more informed about climate threats and opportunities. For better climate news, which we all need, visit coveringclimatenow.org. It's really good. On social media, follow groups like This is Zero Hour and Sunrise Movement. For something more local, search online for climate change or climate action, then add the name of your neighborhood, your town, your region. Oh, and you gotta read this book, it's called All We Can Save, by Dr. Ayanna, Elizabeth Johnson and Dr. Catherine Wilkerson. It's an anthology of essays by women representing all the people we've ignored on climate, and it's filled with solutions and inspiration, and realness. You can find this book in the show's online bookshop. Finally, let's do some kind of collective climate action. Those local online searches, they could lead you to businesses or groups you can support. I recommend the Citizens Climate Lobby as a place to start. Now, talk about those types of things. Are you composting? Are you trying to understand where your energy comes from? Share that journey online. Let's use tech to make climate action mainstream. As usual, I shared a lot, so the good news is, we wrote it all down for you. Just check out the show notes for this episode in your podcast app, or visit us at howtocitizen.com. You can follow us on Instagram @howtocitizen. Please tag us in your post about your climate and tech journey, and use the hashtag #howtocitizen. How to Citizen with Baratunde is a production of iHeartRadio Podcasts and Dustlight Productions. Our executive producers are me, Baratunde Thurston, Elizabeth Stewart and Misha Euceph. Our senior producer is Tamika Adams, our producer is Alie Kilts and our assistant producer is Sam Paulson. Stephanie Cohn is our editor, Valentino Rivera is our senior engineer and Matthew Lai is our apprentice. Additional production help from Arwen Nicks. Original Music by Andrew Eapen, with additional original music for season 3 from Andrew Clausen. This episode was produced and sound designed by Tamika Adams. Special thanks to Joelle Smith from iHeartRadio and Rachael Garcia at Dustlight Productions.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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