I don’t know why each of you decided to come today. Maybe you're here to celebrate a holiday, or you’re supporting a friend, or you were just in the area; but my guess is that most of you are here because you care about our world, and want to make a difference. So I don’t want to stand here and preach about imminent irreversible climate change, and the impact that would have on our biosphere, because you already know, you've heard it, and now your here. Instead I want you to ask yourselves why you care. What about your town, your state, and your planet, brought you here today.
Personally I love mountains. I love hiking with my dog, the secret wildflowers that grow on ski slopes during the summer, and the way cold wind feels on my face. I love New Hampshire’s Presidential Mountain range, and the culture of appreciation for nature that grew around these peaks. I love our White Mountain National Forest, which not only represents a collective recognition of the importance of nature beyond exploitation, beyond monetary gain, but our belief, as Granite Staters, that our wildlife is worth preserving. And the idea of a National Reservation, a place for people from across the country to engage with nature, reminds me that it is not just our state that is beautiful and worthy of saving, but our whole world.
I’m sure all of you have your own version of this love, this passion. And, although it is deeply personal, I encourage you to know it, and cultivate it, and share it. This passion will drive you to not just talk about your fears for our world, but become the people that fix it. We will be the next generation of scientists, policy makers, and informed citizens, people that are driven to forge a future where the things we love about our world will be there for further generations to love as well. We have to keep this in mind so when people ask us, “Why do you push so hard, why do you care so much?” we will know what to say. We will say, “because our world is worth it; because this is a future worth pushing for”
In the words of Robert Frost, an artist who was as inspired by New Hampshire’s ecology as we are, “The tree the tempest with a crash of wood - Throws down in front of us is not to bar - Our passage to our journey's end for good, - But just to ask us who we think we are.” A tempest rages, and a tree blocks our path; and yet it is not a condemnation of what humanity has done to our world up to this point, but a call for our generation to love this world so wildly that we have no choice but to push forward, and push so passionately that we can’t help but overcome.