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Climate Action: Youth’s Role in Shaping a Sustainable World in Silicon Valley Video

In This Episode:

As we spotlight the escalating impacts of climate change within Silicon Valley, the evidence is striking. In just a single year, extreme heat enveloped the area, with ten locations enduring over 30 unusually warm nights. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley grappled with severe aridity, enduring 13 of the driest months on record. Adding to the area's environmental woes, the relentless march of sea level rise continues unabated, with a century-long increase of approximately 200 millimeters, or 8 inches, in the Silicon Valley region alone. These indicators not only mark shifts in our climate but also signal urgent calls to action for mitigation and adaptation strategies. 

Climate Change Issues in Silicon Valley:

  • Extreme Heat: Ten places in Silicon Valley had 30 or more hot nights in one year
  • Drought: Silicon Valley experienced 13 of the 30 driest months.
  • Sea Level Rise: Sea levels have increased over the past century by about 200 millimeters or 8 inches in Silicon Valley.

"Climate change is happening. I've seen in my own family from my grandfathers who had to live near secondhand smoke, the impact, both health and from environmental, that these fossil fuel projects are having."

About the founders of Green Team Power:

Meet the founders of GreenTeamPower, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization: Keshav Narang and Shivek Narang.

Keshav Narang:

Keshav Narang, a 17-year-old high schooler, is a dedicated climate activist, environmentalist, builder, and entrepreneur. Leveraging cutting-edge technology, including AI and ML, he has pioneered tools to tackle environmental issues. Among these innovations is EcoPolicyAdvocate (https://ecopolicyadvocate.org), a generative AI tool specifically crafted to summarize climate bills and streamline the public commentary process.

Beyond his technological endeavors, Keshav co-founded a renewable energy startup (https://asksolarpanel.com) that boasts patented technology in solar battery design. Drawing from his experiences as a young scientist and advocate, he recognizes the transformative potential of combining knowledge and insights from diverse sources.

In alignment with this vision, Keshav, alongside his brother Shivek Narang, co-founded GreenTeamPower, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Discover more about their impactful work by visiting their website at https://greenteampower.org/. The organization is dedicated to bringing technical expertise to frontline activists, fostering more effective advocacy for environmental causes.

Shivek Narang

Shivek Narang is a University of Pennsylvania student studying the links between cognitive science, neuroscience, AI, and computational biology. He's passionate about lab research and committed to social justice, working to solve major societal issues. Shivek is actively involved in climate activism, focusing on its impact on marginalized communities and advocating for sustainable practices and environmental conservation to address climate change's health effects. He also runs ‘Our Teen Brains,' a platform promoting mental health in teenagers and fighting the stigma around mental illnesses like depression by sharing stories and resources and organizing events for open discussions on mental health among youth.

"Everybody from software engineers to media designers to activists, scientists, everybody can get involved and contribute to climate change, specifically in renewable energies."

Show Notes:

  • Learn about Green Team Power and its mission to empower students to address climate change
  • Explore the pressing need to address climate issues by 2035 or 2040, especially from the perspective of the younger generation
  • How there's a gap in the education system when it comes to climate action, and how Green Team Power aims to bridge this gap
  • Understand how Green Team Power empowers students to get involved in sustainability projects and raise awareness
  • Explore how growing up in a drought-prone area and witnessing the impacts of climate change has driven the founder's passion for Green Team Power
  • How Green Team Power's educational workshops and seminars are raising awareness about climate change
  • Explore the Youth Empowerment Series and how it encourages students to get involved in environmental clubs
  • Learn about the Eco Advocate Podcast and how it highlights stories of climate leaders and their visions
  • Learn about the growing opportunities in renewable energy careers and how young people can contribute
  • How Green Team Power inspired a mother to start her own organization to combat climate change

"History is never just passively done; somebody always leads it."

Episode Transcription

So, tell us about a brief history of your organization. Who do you serve, and how did it all begin?

Absolutely. Green Team Power was started three years ago. And it started because we recognized that many of the climate problems we face must be addressed very soon. In many of the legislation we see, this is by 2035 or 2040. So many of the people my age have to be involved. Now, unfortunately, there's no curriculum or education in a school that offers this kind of climate literacy, and it is mainly related to the topics that are happening currently in the legislation that is being passed in the new projects that are being built. So Green Team Power aims to help students and empower students to become involved in these projects by spreading awareness about the pathways to a more sustainable future and how we can learn about the science and the technical parts behind this to make our voices the most powerful and impactful that we can.

Absolutely. So I… was born in 2006, 17 years ago. And 2006 was the first year California was officially classified as in a drought in this century. Now I am almost 18 years old, and there have been only three years in my childhood, even in Silicon Valley, one of the most developed parts of the world where I have not had to live in a drought. And so it's obvious that climate change is happening. I've seen this in my own family from my grandfathers who had to live near secondhand smoke the impact. both health and environmental that these fossil fuel projects are having. And in my fifth grade, I remember going to school and there was a smoke day so school had to get cancelled. The skies were all orange, and for many days, we had to cancel our school that way. So, growing up, I and all my friends were seeing the impacts of climate change and the projects that fossil fuels are continuing to do. And so learning from the different organizations about the power that young people can bring. Especially when we are equipped with the knowledge and treated as adults with the voices we can bring, it has inspired me to start and continue Green Team Power.

Absolutely. So we find the time in the evenings. We started by running a club in our school. So the year after, we had the smokes. smoke day in California, our teacher set aside at the end of the year, he said, our science teacher set aside a few weeks, and he said, I'm going to now teach about environmental science. This is not a common practice, but this inspired me and the students in my grade to say, why don't we start an environmental club in our school? Why don't we start a renewable energy club in our school? And then on the weekends and after school, sometimes we would go once a week, twice a week to our local parks. So there's one near the school where I went to, the Sabercat National Park, and we learned about the invasive species that were growing there, how water and the drought were affecting the plants that grow there. And we went to beach cleanups and all these different projects. And so slowly we started to learn together about how we can address climate change and then how we can spread this now to other schools and beyond. So you started as a person team, is that correct? Yes, it was a school effort actually. I wouldn't say it's one person, but it was actually a team of a few students. Myself there's another boy, Walter. We used to, were the youngest students, the fifth grade in the club. And we learned from some of the older students. Walter eventually moved to another school, so I tried to continue it in all the places that I've gone.