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Profile: Heer Shah

I always loved nature, and I always cared for animals. Since an early age, I was taught to do what I call general stuff that every aware family does: conserve energy, recycle, use less water, and take greener modes of transport, etc. So I implemented these into my daily routine. Little stuff like I turned off the water while brushing my teeth, I used a reusable water bottle, and I sorted my trash to make sure to recycle all I could.

I never took time to understand the bigger picture, and although I knew about climate change, I never analyzed all the buzz going around the world about it. I always trusted my instinct and thought I was already doing something helpful for nature and society.

I am Heer Shah, a rising junior at American High School, Fremont, CA. My hobbies include reading, art, photography, teaching, and listening to music.

A few months ago, I heard from one of my close friends about the FXB climate advocates. About many other organizations and individuals actively fighting against the negative impacts for years. About universities spending a lot of resources on research and wealthy people donating a lot of money for that cause. It was the first time it occurred to me how big the problem could be.

I started researching and was soon overwhelmed with emotions. I discovered what was happening in the less developed portions of the world. I found out what pollution was doing to our planet. But what hit me the hardest was what was going on in our oceans. I hated the way trash was just being dumped there and affecting the animals. I also realized why I was unaware of the bigger picture so far. I am a privileged teenager, living in one peaceful corner of a wealthy country, and although I have been already doing a lot, it wasn’t on a big enough scale to make a difference. I could now relate very well to how so many people are unaware of what is going on around them, and the lack of awareness must be stopping them from acting even though they may be willing to act.

I started thinking about how I can help more. But, you see, I'm just 15. I'm a teenager with no funds, no way to donate anywhere, no large group of friends to rally for a cause, and no platform to talk off of. So there isn’t a whole lot that I could do. Those thoughts made me restless. One person acting alone at a smaller scale couldn't possibly make a big enough impact to save an entire planet. I wanted to do something bigger.

I researched many groups that are active in saving our planet from the detrimental impacts of climate change. I took my time to think about how I could best add value to such activities on a global scale. With my love for teaching, I thought the strength I have is in bringing awareness to the upcoming generation. It seems that in FXB Climate Advocates, I have finally found a place where I could use my strengths and work on something I believed in. I can have support from like-minded climate advocates, and I can finally have my voice heard.

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