Profile: Leonie Wisowaty
Updated: May 11, 2020
Every summer my family and I travel to my grandfather’s hometown in Styria, Austria. The town is located on the shores of a beautiful lake in the middle of a small mountain range in the Alps. My family and I spend our time there hiking or exploring the landscapes, which my grandfather and the people of Styria deeply value. During our hikes we often need a lot of water, and so we stop at springs to refill our bottles. The water we get from our hikes is the same water that comes out of the tap, which explains the strict conservation rules residents in the town abide by.
But the regulations have not been enough, human activity has caused the rise of temperatures in the Alps and is affecting towns like this one and many others in Austria. Over the past two years storms have become increasingly severe in Styria, and, most recently, many houses were damaged in a powerful storm last fall. The sudden surge in extreme weather has become a pressing issue unlike ever before. The effects of climate change were evident all around, and I could no longer passively wait for a solution.
So when the Friday’s for Future movement gained momentum, I enthusiastically joined. For the first time, my generation was fighting together for a cause that I have been passionate about for such a long time, and I was very hopeful that we would initiate real change. As the year progressed, many of my peers lost interest in the topic as school stress took hold and life continued on as usual. But for me, the sense of community and the strength we found in fighting together for a unified cause sparked something in me that I could not turn off. When I was introduced to FXB, I met a group of people who wanted to serve as the leaders to continue the fight for climate justice just like I did. What drew me in most is that each person brought a unique approach to combating climate change, but everyone was working towards one common goal. I am excited about the potential this group has to spark meaningful conversations, implement change in our communities, and challenge our generation to continue to step up.