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.
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.
Join us for our first East Coast YAE Training! The 2020 Valentine’s Day week-end training in the State College, Pennsylvania area.
Saturday, February 15, 2020—State College, Pennsylvania!
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.
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County is 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.
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 Youth Climate Leaders Mario Rodriguez and Badi Cross, with support from Pam Vergun. 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 may be able to join with prior permission and special arrangement.
To register for this Youth Climate Training, please click here: Student Registration—February 15, 2020—State College, Pennsylvania.
If you would like to register as an adult volunteer or as a Youth Leader to lead this Training, please click here: Volunteer Registration—February 15, 2020—State College, Pennsylvania..
Share the Flyer for our first East Coast YAE Training in Pennsylvania with your school, friends, and community.
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 is your best bet for the most recent updates.
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.
🌳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.
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.
We arrange for our youth and parents to be invited as speakers and facilitators for organizations around the U.S.
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 is also 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
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!
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:
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:
Please ask your local and internet media to carry more stories about these lawsuits and about the urgency of addressing Climate Change.
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:
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.
Our Climate (formerly Oregon Climate)