Profile: Annika Johnson
Hi, my name is Annika Johnson and I am currently a junior at Lexington High School in Massachusetts. It’s difficult to pinpoint one place where my passion for climate advocacy came from, but I think my Indian heritage has played a large role in pushing me towards this field.
My family is from Kerala, India, which is famous for its lush wildlife. No matter how many times I visit, the rainforest canopy always stuns me. Not only is the environment dazzling in Kerala, but I find it beautiful to see how much more sustainably people live compared to the average American. Whenever possible, people walk or use small motor scooters over cars. I never see my family using single-use plastic bags, and everyone is committed to reuse, with simple things like yogurt containers repurposed as tupperware. I think my parents carried some of these good habits over to America, and watching my family inspired me to think about small ways that everyday people can easily change their lifestyles to help reduce their environmental impact.
However, it’s clear that individual action alone cannot even come close to stopping climate change. Despite the sustainable lifestyles of people in Kerala, my mom tells me that her hometown, Trivandrum, doesn’t look the way it did when she was growing up. I vividly remember visiting a beach and having her explain how far forward the coastline had moved since her childhood visits to the same shore, representing decades of sea level rise.
We all know that this type of change is caused by major polluters: large corporations overusing fossil fuels and exhausting natural resources. Many agree that the only way to control these companies and thus resist climate change is through drastic legislative action. I started trying to contribute to this cause through a club I founded with two friends at my high school, called Make Lex Green, which aims to institute environmental initiatives in our school and town. In the future, I’m considering a career in environmental law, which would hopefully make me a contributor to comprehensive change. For now, I’m excited to join FXB Climate Advocates because it’s on such a large scale and gives me the chance to collaborate with like-minded teens across the U.S. and even in other countries. I hope we can take advantage of this opportunity to help protect our planet together.