By Adrienne Cooper December 28, 2017

Time flies. That’s what the Defend team was thinking when we passed the one year-mark since the election of Donald Trump.

2017 has been an especially challenging year for the fight for clean air, clean water and our planet. While we’ve faced many setbacks, we also have reasons to celebrate. This year, we:

• Defended safeguards protecting communities from oil and gas pollution:
• Moved Congress to instruct our military to consider impacts of climate change on national security;
• Defeated Trump’s appalling choice to head EPA’s chemical safety office; and
Thwarted an attempt to undermine clean energy investment.

These victories would not have been possible without your tenacity and dedication to fighting for future generations – so, thank you.

But we can’t let our guard down as the administration continues its assault on our bedrock public health and environmental protections.

Now is not the time to be silent.

The Past Year

Communities across the country faced extraordinary challenges. The hurricanes that devastated the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean were some of the strongest in recent memory. The wildfires that raged in the West were made worse by a deeper and longer drought. This wasn’t a coincidence – as the climate warms, extreme weather events like hurricanes and droughts become ever more intense.

With an administration that has consistently placed polluter profits over clean air and water, it’s up to us to demand that our leaders in Congress stand up for a healthy and prosperous future for all. At Defend Our Future, we’re doing this through education, advocacy and empowerment, on college campuses, online and through social media. We’re offering students the training and tools to become better climate and clean energy leaders in their communities.

This year, we held more than 50 events across the country to educate young people not only about climate change and the role EPA has in safeguarding our communities, but also on the ways they and their neighbors can take action, make their voice heard and help build a better world for future generations.

So, What’s Next?

2018 is just around the corner and less than a year from now, millions of Americans will go to the polls to decide who best will represent them on the issues.

We’re going to do everything in our power to show our leaders know that young people across the country support common-sense action to protect our communities from climate change and pollution. Working with student leaders, local businesses, celebrities, and diverse partners – including some organizations that traditionally have not engaged in the environmental space – we will demonstrate the strength of the movement and our resolve.

We also want to show young people that voting is not the end of their participation in our democratic process. Staying involved – whether it’s sharing news through social media, encouraging a friend to register to vote, or meeting with your representative – is key to keeping climate change at the forefront of our national conversation and protecting the progress we’ve made.

We’ll continue building a strong and diverse movement while blunting attacks against environmental and public health safeguards. This isn’t the political situation that we had hoped for – but it’s because of people like you that we at Defend Our Future remain optimistic. We are charging forward and preparing for the day when we have a leader in the White House who is a strong advocate for a cleaner, healthier and more just future.