Meet the Teenagers Leading a Climate Change Movement

Updated: Jul 25, 2018


By Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks.


“The march is a launch,” Jamie Margolin, the founder of Zero Hour, said of Saturday’s demonstration in Washington. “It isn’t, ‘That’s it, we’re done.’”CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Some of them met on Instagram. Others coordinated during lunchtime phone conferences. Most of them haven’t even graduated from high school.

The teenagers behind Zero Hour — an environmentally focused, creatively minded and technologically savvy nationwide coalition — are trying to build a youth-led movement to sound the alarm and call for action on climate change and environmental justice.

For the last year, a tight-knit group spanning both coasts has been organizing on social media. The teenagers kicked off their campaign with a protest on Saturday at the National Mall in Washington, along with sister marches across the country.


As sea levels rise, ice caps melt and erratic weather affects communities across the globe, they say time is running out to address climate change. The core organizing group of about 20 met with almost 40 federal lawmakers about their platforms on Thursday, and hope to inspire other teenagers to step up and demand change.

“The march is a launch. It isn’t, ‘That’s it, we’re done,’” said Jamie Margolin, the founder of Zero Hour. “It means it doesn’t give them an excuse to be like, ‘I don’t know what the kids want.’ It’s like, ‘Yes, you do.’”


They are trying to prove the adults wrong, to show that people their age are taking heed of what they see as the greatest crisis threatening their generation.

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