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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

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

Students Witness the Fracking Frontlines

Posted November 12, 2013 by Robert Friedman in Curbing Pollution, Moving Beyond Oil

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Last Friday night I went to the supermarket to buy several five gallon jugs of water. Being a longtime environmental advocate, it felt wrong to be buying bottled water.  But more than that, it felt strange to be buying water...continued

Speak Up at the EPA Hearings on Regulating Carbon Pollution

Posted November 4, 2013 by Robert Friedman in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming

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Two weekends ago I stood in a room of over 7,000 fellow young people chanting that we believe that we will solve the climate crisis by ending our dependence on fossil fuels and transitioning immediately to 100% clean energy.  It...continued

On the Frontlines, Power is Shifting

Posted October 22, 2013 by Robert Friedman in Environmental Justice, Solving Global Warming

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There’s something about standing on a fracking pad or at the edge of a mountaintop removal site that changes you forever. You ask yourself how anyone could be so blinded to be removing mountains from the landscape, to be contaminating peoples’ water...continued

To Gas and Coal Country I Go

Posted October 11, 2013 by Robert Friedman in Environmental Justice, Solving Global Warming

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Tomorrow morning I will join 18 college and high school students on the Extreme Energy Immersion Tour, hosted by the Expedition Education Institute and Unity College. The purpose of the 10-day bus tour is to build experiential leadership amongst young people...continued

#PGC2013 Kicks Off In 48 States and 25 Countries

Posted October 1, 2013 by Robert Friedman in Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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Environmental issues like climate change, biodiversity loss and superbugs can feel pretty daunting. So daunting at times that we are paralyzed into inaction and solutions just seem like a far way off.  Enter the Project Green Challenge, an annual environmental...continued

Time For A Power Shift!

Posted September 26, 2013 by Robert Friedman in Environmental Justice, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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What does it take to get over 10,000 young people from all across the country together in one place around one cause? No, not Miley Cyrus twerking. Building a movement to make our communities more resilient in the face of...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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