Kyle Meyaard-Schaap
Kyle Meyaard-Schaap leads a lobby training workshop in Washington D.C. in 2017.

When he was growing up, Kyle Meyaard-Schaap’s evangelical family talked very little about climate change.

Meyaard-Schaap: “If it was ever mentioned in my conservative household, it was usually the butt of a joke.”

When Meyaard-Schaap’s brother decided to become a vegetarian for environmental reasons, everything changed.

Meyaard-Schaap: “I didn’t know anyone who had made the choice to stop eating meat, I had just kind of assumed they were all hemp friendship bracelet weaving tree-hugging weirdos. I had to make the choice of either lumping my brother into that group, or suspending my assumptions and hearing him out, and I chose the latter.”

As he learned more about his brother’s reasons, Meyaard-Schaap’s own interest in climate change grew. And he was inspired to educate others – especially evangelicals like himself.

Today, he’s the national organizer of Young Evangelicals for Climate Action. This network of Christians attends rallies, signs petitions, and speaks out for a cause they feel at heart is a moral calling.

Meyaard-Schapp’s goal for the group is to do what his brother did for him.

Meyaard-Schaap: “For a lot of people across the U.S., they’re not going to take climate change seriously unless their friends and their families start talking about it with them.”

Reporting credit: Hannah Breisinger/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Courtesy of Kyle Meyaard-Schaap.

Diana Madson contributed regularly to Yale Climate Connections from 2014 to 2021. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition to her...