Polar Army photo

April is a critical time for focusing public attention on the risks posed by our warming climate. In the Nation’s Capital, the Trump administration and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt are in the initial stages of what many in the environmental community consider an unprecedented executive branch attack on climate science and climate change policies. Critics say those attacks over time could undo sweeping changes from the Obama administration.

Also in Washington, widely publicized marches are expected to bring to the city’s streets a veritable army of protesters and concerned citizens – on April 22, Earth Day, with a focus on science broadly, and a week later, on April 29, with a climate-specific emphasis. Both marches are expected to spawn local and regional marches across the country in many locations.

In western Michigan, there’s an entirely different movement well under way, but one also focusing on climate change. It’s an army of kids that I launched in September 2016. These kids are not marching in Michigan. Instead, they’ve been creating art. As of the end of March, more than 720 individual entries had been posted on my site, PolarArmy.org.

I tell all those who will listen that creating art is a cool way for kids to express themselves. When I speak to school groups, civic interests, and church groups, I tell audiences that artwork itself can serve as a powerful voice demanding action.

Here are some of my favorite entries among those submitted and posted so far. With respect for the kids’ privacy, last names are omitted.

I hope kids across the U.S. and, indeed, worldwide, will continue to submit art of all mediums to show that they care about climate change.

Polar Army artwork 1
“I made art on Minecraft to show that deforestation needs to stop. Cutting down trees is bad. It puts more carbon into the atmosphere.” – Joseph, Age 11, Ada, MI

Polar Army artwork 2
“Wind energy is a better way to power cities and homes.” – Matthew, Age 12, Grand Rapids, MI

Polar Army artwork 3
“I like polar bears. I don’t want them to go extinct.” – Priya, Age 6, Kentwood, MI

Polar Army artwork 4
“Climate change is hurting our wildlife. My picture represents birds hatching too early because of global warming.” – Addison, Age 10, Grand Rapids, MI

Polar Army artwork 5
“My picture shows that bad stuff, like floods, can happen if we don’t stop global warming.” – Emma, Age 9, Grand Rapids, MI

To see more of the climate art work young kids are contributing to the site, visit PolarArmy.org. And look for another quarterly posting of this feature on this site in July.

Image graphic: Created by David McCarthy.

Bryce Madder is a 12-year old climate change activist and founder of the nonprofit Polar Army.