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This YouTube Channel by an Environmental Scientist Maps a Hopeful Future

This YouTube Channel by an Environmental Scientist Maps a Hopeful Future

Ankur Shah used to cover his nose and mouth before the COVID-19 pandemic.

He grew up in Mumbai and had to limit his exposure. The often extreme levels of air pollutionThe densely populated Indian city was a magnet for pollution. His lungs were particularly sensitive, but air pollution can cause a host of health problems, brain dysfunction, and shorter life spans.

Shah was aware from an early age that humans were failing to care for the environment. Why was it so difficult for people to get fresh air? Why was the Mithi River so dark and sewage-filled? It smelled of methane and had plastics on its surface. Why was the government building a metro in the last remaining unfragmented green space of the city?

Shah became involved in climate activism because of this last source of confusion. In high school, Shah joined a protest organization. Protect the Aarey forestHe learned the importance and power of people. He recalls standing alongside protesters, arms in his hands, along a road next to the park. They tried to grab the attention of a prominent minister as he drove by. Did they change the mind of the minister? It is not clear, but media attention was drawn to the protest and the government eventually agreed to move it elsewhere.

People coming together, articulating clear positions, and working towards a goal was Shah’s model for advocacy and activism. He decided to dedicate his life to the improvement of the human-environment relation.

Global Citizen spoke to him about his decision to study Earth system science at Alabama’s Huntsville when he was ready to go to college.

He took classes in environmental sociology and hydrology, as well as climate science, pollution science and policy, remote sensing and atmospheric science.

He still uses a lot from what he learned in his current job as a geospatial analysis analyst, mapping urban landscapes for the company and monitoring greenhouse gas emissions. EverimpactAs the director of operations for the environmental nonprofitMycelium, which uses open-source technology for the construction of circular food, waste and housing systems.

Mycelium’s first project was the implementation of a solar-powered lighting system. FarmBotIt monitors and waters raised gardens, making it possible for people with little farming experience to grow their own food.

Shah said that technology can be a double-edged sword. You can use it to manipulate behavior, divert your attention, or even strike automatically with drones. There are many other uses for technology. We can also use drones to plant trees or monitor environmental pollution. It all depends on your intent.

He also had a transformative experience when he went to the Amazon rainforest during the summer 2017. He split his time between volunteering in Peru for biodiversity conservation and the Indigenous Secoyacommunity of Ecuador.

He said that it was a life-changing experience for him. I learned a lot about the rainforest-based indigenous cultures and tropical ecology. I learned how people can live peacefully with the earth and not change it for the worse.

After he returned, he became interested in climate activism and started sustainability events, groups, and projects at school.

Shah traveled to Washington, DC, towards the end 2018 for a conference organized the American Geophysical Union. He learned that the youth group in climate change was among the participants. Sunrise MovementHe would be protesting at Capitol that week. He attended an orientation on Sunday with them and by Monday, he was marching through Congress, speaking to legislators, and advocating the Green New Deal.

Shah was the culmination of the day, along with many other protestors.After staging a sit-in, being detainedNancy Pelosi, House Speaker. This incident was national news and highlighted the gap between climate activists, and political leaders who want to maintain the status quo.

The Sunrise protest went viral and was a beacon of hope. It was also inspiring to be surrounded with like-minded young people demanding real change from their politicians, he said. Direct action like this is more effective when it has specific goals, such as stopping the construction of a pipeline or coal plant, or protecting an area from deforestation.

Shah brought the organizing skills he learned in DC with him to Huntsville. He joined a local initiative to get Huntsville’s city council to adopt sustainability charters that would enshrine climate principles.

We protested Huntsville being the leader in Alabama for climate change and land conservation. He said he was not satisfied. We had a sustainability ordinance created. After our initial protest, the city council approved a sustainability ordinance.

Although the ordinance did not receive a majority of the five-member council’s yes votes, it was supported by established nonprofits in the region and local businesses that will allow it to be put forward for another vote.

Shah said that I believe there needs to be more advocacy at the city and state levels for specific actions, rather than only focusing on the Federal Green New Deal. Shah pointed out that this may trickle down inefficiently or ineffectively to the state and city level. Policy resourceThe Environmental Law Institute. Each community and area will have their own unique needs. Climate policies should be tailored to address those needs. Local actions that are strong and take place on a global level will bring about lasting structural and organizational changes.

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Shah began his career as a teachers assistant at an environmental course. She developed lesson plans and assisted students in understanding complex concepts. Shah was deeply moved by the experience and felt drawn to other avenues for tackling difficult topics.

He took a video editing class and began creating YouTube videos.

Shah laughed and said that my first videos were pretty terrible. It’s embarrassing.

However, even in those first videos, his commitment to science, kindness, and passion for helping the planet shine through.

He’s made hundreds of videos on topics like plastic pollution, climate anxiety and the Amazon rainforest, Bitcoins environmental impacts, food systems, and basically anything that interests him in his day-today life or the many environmental books he has read. He stated that he keeps a notebook of ideas in marble and that there are more than 50 topics awaiting his exploration.

His broad remit is YouTube channelIt demonstrates the interconnected and multifaceted nature climate change and biodiversity loss. Addressing environmental decline means addressing other issues like poverty, gender inequality, and racism.

Shah’s videos are a reminder that there is hope for a better world in an age of climate collapse, stifled politics and fear of the unknown. He says that we already possess all the technology, resources, knowledge, and technology necessary to prevent extreme climate change while also healing the environment. He claims that Indigenous communities and community organizers have been planning for a better future for years.

Shahs videos make it clear that you can secure a better world. It is possible, in fact, that it is possible. A world full of hope, opportunity, and collective freedom.

He said that my grounded optimism stems from the knowledge that no matter what happens, we will make a difference. We will have to change, whether it is the hard way or now. Why not start building circular and regenerative solutions today?

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