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Robert Friedman, Youth Engagement Coordinator, New York City

Robert Friedman
I grew up in the Hudson Valley in a community whose waterfront is a Class 2 Superfund site. From a very young age, environmental issues were a big part of my life. Growing up, most of my weekends were spent in the Catskills, hiking, biking and climbing. This is where I began to gain an appreciation for the outdoors. In middle school I (somewhat prematurely) decided I would make a career out of my passion for protecting our environment, and I haven’t exactly looked back ever since. I studied climate policy with a focus on social movement theory at Bates College, and over the years have been involved in a diverse set of environmental policy-related endeavors including investigating the impacts of climate change on artisanal fishermen in coastal Tanzania, working on a boat to defend the Hudson River from polluters, and advocating for the rights of climate vulnerable nations at the United Nations climate negotiations. And now I’m at NRDC fulfilling my greatest passion: engaging young people in environmental advocacy and the fight for intergenerational justice. I know a lot about spotted hyenas.

Recent Posts

NRDC's Bees Take Flight

Posted June 23, 2014 by Robert Friedman in Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably

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Like any of these foods? You have bees to thank! Bees play an essential role in our food system, pollinating some of my personal favorite foods, including avocados, olives and cucumbers. Since joining the staff here at NRDC, I’ve had...continued

College & University Presidents Stand Up For Climate Action

Posted May 29, 2014 by Robert Friedman in Solving Global Warming

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Over the past seven years, 684 colleges and universities, including my own alma mater (Go Bates!), have signed onto the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) to make voluntary commitments to reduce climate pollution on their campuses. Earlier...continued

Emergency Climate Reddit AMA Tomorrow!

Posted May 21, 2014 by Robert Friedman in Solving Global Warming

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UPDATE: Follow along and ask questions here! Ever wanted to ask one of our experts a burning question about climate change? Now's your chance! Tomorrow at 1:30 PM EST, we'll be joining a crew of movers and shakers in the...continued

Tell Your Alma Mater, Fossil Fuel Divestment Just Went Mainstream

Posted April 30, 2014 by Robert Friedman in Curbing Pollution, Moving Beyond Oil, Solving Global Warming

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A version of this post is on WeArePowerShift.org Right now, Harvard University students are braving some nasty weather and blockading Massachusetts Hall, where President Drew Faust’s office is located, to demand that the Harvard Corporation, the world’s largest educational endowment, divest from...continued

"I see the green Earth and I want to..."

Posted April 23, 2014 by Robert Friedman in Curbing Pollution, Moving Beyond Oil, Solving Global Warming

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Paint it black?! Some people take the air we breathe and the water we drink for granted. They're willing to go to the ends of the Earth searching for new, extreme ways to extract fossil fuels. This new piece from...continued

Students to WashU: Cut Ties With Peabody

Posted April 21, 2014 by Robert Friedman in Environmental Justice, Solving Global Warming

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The climate is changing, and with each and every passing day, more communities are experiencing the devastation of fossil fuel extraction. What’s it going to take to get us on track to a more sustainable future? Limits on carbon emissions, for...continued

Building A Climate "Wall of Sound"

Posted April 8, 2014 by Robert Friedman in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming

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People often ask me what I think is the single most important thing they could be doing to solve the climate crisis. Yes, exercising your right to vote is really important, as is living sustainably. But on an issue as...continued

"We're Up All Night For the Climate"

Posted March 10, 2014 by Robert Friedman in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming

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It’s not often that we see support in Congress for federal climate action, but this evening, 28 Senators, many of them members of the Senate Climate Action Task Force, will go to the Senate floor all night to do just...continued

Big Green Radicals: Absurd Climate Claims, Great Logo

Posted March 6, 2014 by Robert Friedman in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming

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Please forgive my snarkiness in advance. In the battle for climate justice, there are some that are standing in the way of my generation’s right to a livable future. Earlier today, the House of Representatives passed the Whitfield-Manchin “Polluter Protection...continued

Dissent and Escalation

Posted March 3, 2014 by Robert Friedman in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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“There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.” - Martin Luther...continued

Getting Young People to the Table To Create a More Just Future

Posted February 24, 2014 by Robert Friedman in Environmental Justice, Solving Global Warming

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Ailing infrastructure, rising sea levels, a changing climate. Sounds pretty bleak, right? We spend so much time thinking of the future as being full of doom and gloom that it’s really easy to forget that climate change presents a unique...continued

Building A Strong Ecosystem For Good, Green Jobs

Posted February 6, 2014 by Robert Friedman in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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Big scary question: What’s your vision for the future of the planet? I think about mine a lot. I come at my work from many different angles, but my primary focus and interest is on building a future that looks...continued

Going Really Big in 2014

Posted December 30, 2013 by Robert Friedman in Environmental Justice, Solving Global Warming

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As we approach the end of our annual trip around the sun, I’m in a reflective and thankful mood. As you’ll see in this video, a lot happened in 2013 that we can celebrate. I’m thankful for these successes, not...continued

Youth Rising To Support Agressive Action on Climate

Posted December 10, 2013 by Robert Friedman in Solving Global Warming

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A recently released paper by former chief NASA climatologist James Hansen and 17 other international climate scientists is getting some pickup in youth movement circles. The paper, published by peer reviewed journal PLoS ONE, goes well beyond what one would...continued

Young people to EPA: #ActOnClimate

Posted November 22, 2013 by Robert Friedman in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming

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Several weeks ago, the EPA held public listening sessions on how the Clean Air Act can be applied to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. It was an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to stand up and...continued

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