YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A young but nationally known environmentalist, who has gone as far as to sue the federal government, Monday evening described to a crowd at Youngstown State University his part in helping stop climate change.
Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh is 23 and has been involved with the environmental movement since he was six. He was recently named one of Time Magazine’s Next 100.
Tonatiuh was speaking as part of YSU’s Skeggs Lecture Series.
In 2015, he became part of a federal lawsuit claiming the U.S. government failed to act on climate change. One of his main issues is the extraction of fossil fuels in his home state of Colorado.
“I spent a lot of time organizing against the proliferation of fracking, hydraulic fracturing, as something, perhaps, in this area in Pennsylvania — it’s very pervasive,” said Tonatiuh. “New York organized to ban fracking at a state level. My community has been fighting that fight for a very long time. I was 12, 13, 14 when I got involved with it at first.”
Tonatiuh’s roots can be traced to an indigenous tribe in Mexico. He does not plan on pursuing politics.