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Amazing Teen Fighting Climate Change in Iowa

Amazing Teen Fighting Climate Change in Iowa

Glori Dei Filippone of Des Moines is 13 years old and she is suing the government for not protecting the atmosphere.

Glori first got interested when she learned of the environmental costs of meat production, particularly the carbon emissions associated with the livestock industry, estimated to be 18% of global emissions.

She’s been working at the Des Moines, Iowa Farmer’s Market since she was eight years old. One day, a blind lady walked up to the stand and picked up an apple. She asked Glori, “Is this an apple?” Glori answered that it was. She then asked if it were red and Glori responded, “Yes.” The blind lady then shared, “It feels very beautiful, I’ll take a bushel.”

It really hit home with Glori how this woman didn’t need to see something to believe it was there. Glori equates this with climate change understanding, saying that we can’t deny all the evidence that climate change is there just because we can’t see it all the time.

She is part of a movement called iMatter in which thousands of young people are getting involved to change their environmental future. And one of the ways they are doing that is legally.

Last year, on Mother’s Day, she filed a petition at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources asking the agency to adopt and implement a Climate Recovery Plan. This plan, based on the best available science, would establish peak global carbon dioxide emissions by 2012, reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by at least 6 percent every year, and commit to widespread reforestation. The petition was denied (and the Chair scolded her for being vegetarian), so she brought her case to court. The district court judge dismissed the case so she is now heading to the Iowa Supreme Court on appeal.

Glori is also an actress and says she has learned from the experience of repeated rejections at auditions to never give up.

What does she want to be when she ‘grows up’? “I would love to become a scientist, a herpetologist [the study of reptiles and amphibians],” she says. But also, “my generation and the one after it are going to have to work hard to fix this mess.”

Related stories:

Earth Day: Start Them When They’re Young

Save the Planet: Eat Less Meat

6 Ways To Combat Climate Change and Extreme Weather

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Photo credit: courtesy of OurChildrensTrust

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2:47PM PDT on May 14, 2012

I think the whole "suing the government" move is a very American thing to do (and I mean that in a negative way).It negates the whole meaning of justice, the way people run to the courts for anything they can think of.

Although I support the efforts made by the global community to reduce CO2 emissions, I think the most efficient way is by setting an example on how to accomplish that, rather than resort to suing. It's really silly in my mind.

5:27PM PDT on May 8, 2012

Disagree, Elaine. I would rather see her fighting for something she has obviously educated herself on more than you have, rather than trying to help homeless people (or other things that are important to YOU). Honestly, if you don't believe humans have the potential to destroy this earth, you need to come out of your hole in the ground and look around.

4:17PM PDT on May 3, 2012

Sweetheart if you live to be 103, you'll have spent your whole life working on what does not exist! Your time would be better spent doing volunteer work ...Like feeding the homeless and raising awareness to "REAL" issues!

4:17PM PDT on May 3, 2012

Sweetheart if you live to be 103, you'll have spent your whole life working on what does not exist! Your time would be better spent doing volunteer work ...Like feeding the homeless and raising awareness to "REAL" issues!

10:29AM PDT on May 2, 2012

Great story. TY

4:18AM PDT on May 2, 2012

Good for her, thank you for posting.

5:47AM PDT on May 1, 2012


4:27PM PDT on Apr 30, 2012


1:48PM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

amazing indeed.

9:17AM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

As a fellow Iowan, I applaud Glori's actions. How wonderful to see this young woman speak out for our Earth. I hope to hear more about her.

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