Climate Voices

December 22, 2021
By: Daniela Kunkel-Linares

Why I am Here: Part 1

Why I am Here: Part 1 - Photo

Hello there, Climate Generation blog readers! How are you? How is your body feeling?

I can tell winter is really here because my fingers are a completely different temperature than the rest of my body. They are cold and stiff as I type on my laptop. I hope you have something to warm your hands while you read.

I am new here at Climate Generation, andI am excited to be a new addition to the youth team—however no longer the newest! I am taking on the role of the Youth Network Coordinator. And wow, how lucky I am to be trusted with this role, but we will get into that more later. I want to tell you all about why I am here, how I got here, and what I hope to do.

This may take a couple of blogs, but I hope you will stick with me. It is necessary to be honest about where I am coming from, my intentions, and my hopes. I want to be held accountable to these intentions and hopes. I want help dreaming of intentions and hopes that would better serve my community.

I am here because I am angry. I am so angry that my youth-hood can be defined by climate crisis after climate crisis. I am angry that I can measure my youth-hood from one pipeline fight to another. I am angry. And my anger is valid, it is pensive, it is gentle, and it is motivating.

I am here because I am loving. I am so moved by the love that movement spaces operate from. I am so touched by the love of young people I have experienced so much pain with. I love so much, so deeply, and so intuitively. I am loving. And my love is constant, it is fierce, it is bold, and it is so, so motivating.

So, I am angry and I am loving. Love and rage. Rage and love. Both are necessary for this fight.

It wasn’t until recently that I learned that I had the right to be angry. That I had the right to not let my anger become immobilizing. That I had the right to show my anger.

I think many times, as young people, our anger is dismissed. It is reduced to a lack of understanding of how the world operates. But that’s the thing— I believe that young people have the most uninhibited understanding of this world and the strongest ability to dream of a better world.

I think often as girls, women, and queer people our anger is forced to be hidden. It is deemed inappropriate, hormonal, or hysterical. But that’s the thing— movement spaces are so often dominated by girls, women, and queer people, we have such an ability to channel anger in a beautiful, healthy, and moving way.

So I am angry and I am loving. Love and rage. Rage and love. A love so deep for the earth, others, and myself that drives me to rage. A rage so rooted in love which I can channel into meaningful action. It took so long for me to realize that love and rage was what made me do this work.

DanielaI am here to foster that in my fellow young people. To affirm that loving so deeply is beautiful, that being angry is appropriate and justified, and that balancing these things can move us to not only dream of a better world but create it. I am here to work with young people to develop tools, skills, and relationships.

I am here to stand with young people as they explore their own love and rage.

I am here to love and to rage.

I hope that you will love and rage with me.