Climate Change Recovery

This site highlights the work of the youth, families and volunteers of Youth Acting for Our Earth (YAE!) and their families and friends across the U.S. and beyond.

YAE and Climate Change Recovery grew out of the work of one family (Pam, Rob, Miko, and Isaac Vergun) and their friends and acquaintances and from our desire to act on the Climate Crisis. Our goal is to get youth and their parents educated and empowered to speak out in ways that will force adults and youth to act with all ‘required’ speed.

The Vergun family with Kelsey Juliana, Hazel Van Ummersen, and Alex Loznak after filing the Federal Petition in Eugene. Learn more at: http://ourchildrenstrust.org/US/Federal-Lawsuit.

The Vergun family (Miko, Pam, Isaac, and Robert Vergun) with Kelsey Juliana, Hazel Van Ummersen, and Alex Loznak after filing the Federal Petition in Eugene for Kelsey Juliana et al. v. U.S. Join us in insisting that the youth be heard and that the trial be scheduled immediately—and recorded, live-streamed, and archived for Americans and others to be able to see.                                              Learn more at: Our Children’s Trust.

Free Showing of Youth v. Gov at the One Earth Film Festival!
Isaac will be speaking at the festival! This Thursday, February 11th only, 4:30 PM Pacific, 7:30 PM Eastern.
For free tickets, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/youth-v-gov-watch-party-tickets-138191690065

Catch our Powell’s Books Event with Naomi Klein on YouTube!
Miko Vergun and Isaac Vergun are in conversation with author and climate activist Naomi Klein as part of a Powell’s Book talk in conjunction with her recently-released book for youth and adults:
How to Change Everything: The Young Human’s Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other. Published by Simon & Schuster.
It took place Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 5:00 PM Pacific Time and can be watched at: https://youtu.be/Hq3Gbu6XjlQ.

Watch Isaac Vergun’s talk with author and journalist Lee van der Voo thanks to Powell’s Books about Lee’s book on the 21 youth suing the U.S. federal government, As the World Burns: The New Generation of Activists and the Landmark Legal Fight Against Climate Change.

Youth Acting for our Earth—YAE!

Join us for one of our upcoming youth climate trainings, or invite us to your area!

For a quick overview of  our Youth Climate Training, check out a recent bilingual flyer about YAE. More information about our program below.

A special welcome to everyone visiting our site who we met at the Green Schools Conference & Expo!

If you received a tree pledge sheet like the one immediately below, please do complete it and email it to us or post it to our Facebook or Instagram pages!


Stay tuned for more YAE Trainings: Pennsylvania? Washington? Oregon? California, or somewhere else?
Contact us to help us get it scheduled near you

We are working on our first Zoom YAE training, so check back here soon!

Dear Friends,

We’re very sorry but we are postponing our training until the COVID 19 danger is lessened, enabling us to go back to having trainings. We will pick new day as soon as we are able.

In the meantime, do encourage your friends to follow us on Instagram and Facebook, and for anyone who has registered or does register for this training, we will protect your registration information and let you know for when the training is rescheduled, so you will just let us know if you can make the new day, no need to re-register.

Keep an eye on this page in case we put together a project for youth and families to work with each other youth as a team remotely, to help elected officials and others see the unfortunate connection between the climate crisis and the spread to and among humans of COVID 19 so they can take more effective action.

For now I am leaving up the post.

Take care of each other and keep your spirits up. Thanks for all you are already doing.


Our next Training: (See Note Above!)
Saturday, April 11, 2020—Beaverton, Oregon—Registration is now open!

Note: If you are a teen who can come without your parents, that’s great, but please consider encouraging them to come anyway and attend the parents’ meeting and final presentation, so they can better support your activism.

Cool Islam will be our host for this training for families of all backgrounds. Congregation P’nai Or Jewish Renewal of Portland and its Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) Committee are co-sponsoring this training.

Bilal Mosque (Masjid)
4115 SW 160th
Beaverton Oregon 97007

This Youth Climate Training will be led by Isaac Vergun, Federal Youth Climate Plaintiff in Juliana, YAE Co-Founder and Lead Youth Climate Leader, and former President of the Plant-for-the-Planet Global Board, and other amazing Youth Climate Leaders. Parent Leader Rob Vergun will be leading the parents’ meeting. Students who have already done YAE’s training and want to apply to help lead this one, please contact Pam right away.

Youth Climate Trainings are free and open to all students in grades 4-12th. Younger students and college students may be able to join with prior permission and special arrangement.

To register for this Youth Climate Training, please click here: Student Registration—April 11, 2020—Beaverton, Oregon.

If you would like to register as an adult volunteer or as a Youth Leader to lead this Training, please click here: Volunteer Registration—April 11, 2020—Beaverton, Oregon.

Share the bilingual English & Spanish Youth Acting for Our Earth – YAE – April 11 2020 Youth Climate Training Flyer with your school, friends, and community–it will give you more information about our training.

Then, for an easy way to keep up on what we’re doing and help us get the word out to your friends:
a) Follow this blog,
b) Like our Climate Change Recovery Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ClimateChangeRecovery/, and
d) Visit Pam Vergun’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pam.vergun
e) Follow our Instagram accounts:

For now, Facebook and Instagram are your best bet for the most recent updates.

Our Mission—YAE

To inspire and help carry out policies to minimize the climate crisis and create climate justice—so that the crisis does not so severely impact us all.

Our Goals

🌳Support youth in becoming Youth Climate Leaders

🌳Actively connect families, governmental bodies, and other organizations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create supportive networks, and try to restore our Earth.

The Way We Do It

Youth Acting for our Earth (YAE) organizes free one-day trainings by youth for all youth in grades 4-12 to develop their ability to work for justice and a safer climate. Students learn about the science and social effects of Climate Change and develop their public speaking skills in order to work with elected officials and others to try to stop and recover from Climate Change. We also support parents around the challenges of parenting in this difficult time and with helping their families be active in this struggle. After the training, youth and families gather together in YAE Teams and engage in a variety of efforts together.

Our Partners

Climate Change Recovery works with key environmental nonprofits and is working to bring Youth Acting for Our Earth (YAE) to more areas in order to support youth training other youth in Climate Science and Climate Justice! Our key environmental nonprofit partners include Our Children’s Trust, Climate Realty Project, 350.org, Plant-for-the-Planet, Sierra Club, and Climate Change for Families. We have a diverse set of other partners as well, from governmental representatives and bodies to faith groups.

Join us as a partner and host

The cost of hosting is moderate and within the reach of most congregations and PTAs, involving only some compensation for our community organizer’s time, covering food for the students and volunteers the day of the training, providing space in which to hold the training, and covering some moderate photocopying costs. Your help with feeding our hardworking students for the day will be much appreciated; local business will help with this through donating food.

Please contact Pam at vergun@ alumni.stanford.edu if you would like to support a training in your city or state.

Our Statement of Non-Discrimination and Equity

Climate Change Recovery and Youth Acting for our Earth (YAE!) recognize the importance and value of all people; we were founded based on a deep understanding of this and so have a policy against discrimination or harassment based on ethnicity (race), skin color, country of origin or citizenship, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation, religion, family status, marital status, mental or physical ability, or age in everything we do.

Speakers Bureau

We arrange for our youth and parents to be invited as speakers and facilitators for organizations around the U.S.

To see a sample of a recent talk by Miko and Isaac Vergun at the Living Future Conference, “Fifteen Minutes of Brilliance” before Keynote Speaker Terry Tempest Williams, pull up a chair and enjoy!

Miko and Isaac Vergun: Fifteen Minutes of Brilliance

Climate Justice Ambassador Miko Vergun is Giving Presentations on the U.S. Nuclear Legacy and Climate Change in the Marshall Islands—
Invite her to speak at your organization!

Interviewed for an in-depth piece on KBOO Community Radio about her presentations at the International School of Beaverton and the Jewish Renewal congregation P’nai Or of Portland, Miko is working to raise awareness about the U.S. nuclear testing—and continued military presence—in the Marshall Islands, as well as the impact of the mostly-U.S.-induced Climate Change in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and elsewhere. For more information, check out the flyer from her April 1, 2017 presentation sponsored by P’nai Or.

Miko is a Co-Founder of YAE and a key Youth Climate Leader with us, a Climate Justice Ambassador with Plant-for-the-Planet elected as the Global Youth Board Representative for North America and Oceania. She participated in the Plant-for-the-Planet Youth Summit in October-November 2016 in Augsburg, Germany. Miko served as a Teen Board Member of the Oregon Jewish Community Youth Foundation (OJCYF) and was honored by the Oregon Marshallese Community (OMC), REACH-MI (Radiation Exposure Awareness Crusaders for Humanity—Marshall Islands), and MEI (the Marshallese Education Institute) for contributing to the Marshallese community at the 2016 Nuclear Legacy Summit. She is one of the 21 Climate Kids–a plaintiff in the federal Climate Change lawsuit Juliana vs. U.S. through the help of Our Children’s Trust.

Contact vergun@alumni.stanford.edu to schedule a presentation by Miko, Isaac, or one of our other youth or adult leaders.

Want ideas that will really make a difference?

Check out this book appropriate for everyone—students, non-parents, and parents:

The Parents' Guide to Climate Revolution

The Parents’ Guide to Climate Revolution: 100 Ways to Build a Fossil-Free Future, Raise Empowered Kids, and Still Get a Good Night’s Sleep by Mary DeMocker

To donate to the work of Youth Acting for our Earth (YAE), please contact Dr. Pam Vergun, MPA directly at vergun @alumni.stanford.edu. Though donations to YAE are not tax-deductible due to our not having had time to obtain a 501c3 status, focusing for now on a not-for-profit consulting approach for the work we do, we assure you that your donation will be well used to enable us to help youth train other youth about the Climate Crisis. We are very willing to work with interested donors to ensure that your donation supports our work in a clearly identifiable way. Thank you!

Other News:

Our work appeared in the magazine Oregon Jewish Life in an article highlighting Isaac’s Bar Mitzvah Project! Do check it out: Bar Mitzvah Pursues Climate Recovery.

What is a Bar or Bat or B’nei Mitzvah and why is this on a site about Climate Change?

More on this later, but briefly, the phrases are ways of referring to “Children of the Commandments”, and in Jewish tradition, when a child takes on many of the responsibilities of an adult at about age 13, they are expected to do “Mitzvah”, which are “commandments”, sometimes called “good deeds”.

This site grew out of our family’s work as Miko and Isaac started working on their B’nei Mitzvah Projects to help protect our planet with the help of their Mom, Pam, and their Dad, Robert Vergun. We will be getting more up on this site soon on how we have been working in Oregon and neighboring areas to help stop Climate Change, but in the meantime you’ll find most of what you need at the following two sites.

So, what are the four coolest—and likely most effective—nonprofits working on Climate Change and Recovery?

Our votes are for:

350.org News!

Thanks to volunteering with 350.org and 350PDX, luck, and two friends, we are delighted on October 12, 2015, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, to be joining many others in Portland in welcoming Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis to the first Portland screening of This Changes Everything at the Hollywood Theater! Thank you, Harriet Cooke and Robert Vergun for your volunteer fundraising with 350PDX that won us the tickets!

Isaac is continuing to work with 350.org’s Fossil Free and the City of Beaverton on the campaign to have them fully Divest from Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power. Wherever you live, please sign Isaac’s petition:

Our Children’s Trust!

Our Children’s Trust is a dedicated legal team devoted to protecting our Planet, our children and communities, and our future generations through applying legal principals so that governments and other entities will act regarding Climate Change as they should. Remember Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court Ruling that pointed out what now should seem obvious—that segregated schools are not equal?

Well, if we have a right to education, surely we have a right to a Planet in good shape. The rights to life, liberty, property (and to the pursuit of happiness) depend upon a safe and functioning global ecosystem.

So, follow Our Children’s Trust and the cases they are working on all over, especially our Federal lawsuit, Kelsey Juliana et al. v. United States. Please consider donating to this effort! Here’s a glimpse of some of the 21 youth plaintiffs—which include Miko and Isaac:

Some of the Youth Plaintiffs Gathering at Mt. Pisgah Some of the Youth Plaintiffs Gathering at Mt. Pisgah

Please ask your local and internet media to carry more stories about these lawsuits and about the urgency of addressing Climate Change.

Miko's Photo and Quote for Press Releases Isaac's Photo and Quote for Press Releases

In early September 2015, Climate Change for Families was chosen as the newest Tzedakah Partner by P’nai Or of Portland! (Tzedakah means Justice.) Thank you, P’nai Or, for your support!

Want to know more about the first Plant-for-the-Planet Academy in Oregon? You can find information about it here:

Report on past Academies will be published here soon.

More information about Plant-for-the-Planet and Climate Change for Families, which was founded by Michael Foster and started Plant-for-the-Planet in the U.S., can be found here: http://climatechangeforfamilies.com.

Sierra Club

Sierra Club is the only longstanding “Big Green” group that has taken on the Climate Crisis in a serious way, and they are doing an outstanding job!
Learn more at:

Our Climate (formerly Oregon Climate)

Our Climate — which went national this year — is working to educate and pass legislation enabling major carbon polluters to be taxed for every ton of carbon they emit and 100% of the money raised to be returned in equal shares to every person. Learn more at: Our Climate (formerly Oregon Climate)
And, sign the petition:
Want more incentive to join Oregon Climate? Check this page out for a familiar face:
Pam, Robert, Miko, and Isaac Vergun

Ambassadors Miko and Isaac Vergun at Sunnyside Environmental School.jpg

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