Time to listen to the children - Courtesy: Lisa Montoya

OPINION: It is time to listen to the children who are inheriting this planet to find out what they want, what direction they want to go in, and which candidate running for President would best insure a healthy, safe, and just America. I asked a 12 year old Boulder Colorado boy, Xiuh (Shoe) Martinez, who speaks on behalf of children in 20 states and 100 countries through the Earth Guardian Kids Foundation that he founded when he was eight, to explain what he and other youth are thinking.

I learned about Xiuh in June, during the RIO+20 Earth Summit, where our Native American Olympic Team Foundation ( sent “15 Elders Recommendations” to world leaders, at the encouragement of the UN’s Sustainability division. We heard about the media frenzy covering Xiuh, who out of extreme frustration, walked into the closed “deciders” meeting, took the mic and told them what the children need to survive and thrive on this planet. The leaders, many Presidents of countries, not only listened, but to everyone’s surprise, they applauded him.

PHOTO CAPTION (above): Courtesy: Lisa Montoya: RIO+20 Earth Summit’s media “phenom,” Boulder’s Xiuh (Shoe) Martinez at October’s Denver Climate Change rally praising President Obama for his renewable energy policies that create the future the youth want, including snowsports.

There are more and more gifted children being born to help guide us through these challenging times. And thank heaven, many more parents and leaders are listening. Xiuh (Mexican-American) is one of those children. And his videos have gone viral. Here is what he says:

My name is Xiuhtezcatl (Shoe tez cot) and I am an Environmental Activist. I am really worried about what I have learned of Mitt Romney, and what he has said during the debates about what he will do if he becomes president. I believe if he is elected, it will leave my generation without hope of inheriting a habitable, just, sustainable planet.

Therefore, I am also making a video of this because I am too young to vote and want to do everything in my power to help get Barack Obama re-elected.

I know that some of you are disappointed and hoped that Obama could have done more during his first term to address these serious issues, but I believe he did the best he could despite our economic meltdown after eight years of Bush Wars and a Congress that didn’t support his values. Yet Obama still compiled the strongest record for any president since the 70’s on protecting the environment, especially our atmosphere by lowering our carbon output by increasing mileage standards for cars and trucks, supporting the 120 mpg Tesla electric car, and giving tax rebates for solar projects.

By making the environment a national priority and a main source for job creation, he laid the groundwork for a flourishing green economy during his second term. At the Democratic Convention he stated, “My plan will keep investments in wind and solar power to reduce the carbon pollution heating the planet because climate change isn’t a hoax. The droughts we’ve seen, the floods, the wildfires — those aren’t a joke. They’re a threat to our children’s future. And we can do something about it”.

At the Republican convention Romney said, “I’m not in this race to slow the rise of the oceans or to heal the planet.” He even stated he’d “roll back air pollution rules.” In the past, even candidates with poor environmental records and platforms at least made an effort to claim they cared. What can we expect from a leader who declares to the world that he doesn’t want to protect the natural resources that give all of us life?

Romney’s message has been so mixed. First he stated that he wanted to stop human-caused climate change, but now he says there is no proof it exists, despite the media regularly showing us images of all the world’s glaciers melting, putting our oceans are in peril, and forests and species are disappearing. We are seeing increasing climate disasters all over the planet, like Hurricane Sandy, the most catastrophic storm in history, which made NY Republican Mayor Bloomberg a believer in Climate Change, why he now endorses Obama. Through unity – the U.S. and World – we can and we must slow down the man-made part of the global warming.

During the debate, Obama promised to expand on renewable energy programs and Romney promised to expand the oil, coal and nuclear energy. Our parents tell us not to fib. The facts prove there is no such thing as clean coal and clean natural gas extraction through fracking. The eco-systems and the sick people in Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania prove that. We need to be energy independent, but without destroying pristine habitats. Therefore, joining with the British Parliament to be stewards of the Arctic, since one oil spill under the ices and it’s over, plus preserving trees and planting billions more, is absolutely critical for our “Climate Justice.”

Since we are facing a carbon output way over the safe zone of 350 parts per million, Romney’s plan wouldn’t give us a chance, so we are counting on Obama’s plan to streamline shifting to renewable energy to build a cool sustainable world we all want.

We need everyone to stand united, including my Native Brothers and Sisters, my Hispanic community, and all mothers and families who care about their children’s future, to help get out the vote for a president that truly cares about our future. And that is President Barack Obama!

“When you are re-elected, Barack Obama, we are counting on you to get us off of nuclear and fossil fuels and move us towards becoming a Super Green Power,” concluded Xiuh.

Xiuh’s video captures what both candidates said about Climate Change: See more kids expressing themselves and how your children can join kids who are uniting around the world to partner with parents and leaders to create a wonderful world, along with other exciting breakthroughs that give great hope:

Lest you think that Xiuh is overly serious, he and his little brother Itz are also rappers, who rocked the RIO+20 Earth Concert. They are also gymnasts who are excited about learning to ski in their Rocky Mountains. So like many other Colorado kids, Xiuh says that each of us doing our part to go green and electing Barack Obama, is the best chance for his generation to also keep enjoying snowsports.

“This is an absolutely unprecedented storm,” he told POLITICO about Hurricane Sandy. “This entire year has been a serious wake-up call. The public is finally getting that climate change is real. The time to act is now.”

Therefore, folks, please remember that our first responsibility is to our children, the light of our lives. Many of our parents made unbelievable sacrifices to give us a better, happier life. Now is THE pivotal moment to wake up and stand up to give our children a bright future, too. It is their birthright!

Article is Copr. © 2012 by Suzy Chaffee and originally published on – all commercial and reprint rights reserved. Contact:,

Suzy "Chapstick" Chaffee Bio - as first woman on the USOC board in the 70s, she led the successful reform of the Olympic Rules with Legends like Bill Bradley, Muhammad Ali, Jack Kelly, Kip Keino, which leveled the playing fields with the government supported countries through Madison Ave, then led the Title IX March in DC. In 1996 she co-founded the Native American Olympic Team Foundation that has inspired ski areas across the US and Canada to invite tribal youth to share the joy of skiing with over 10,000 youth, which inspires their Elders to lead snowdances that have saved ski areas from droughts for 55 years. At the request of SLOC, she orchestrated a snowdance that restored their snow and also a Native ceremony with Ali, that protected Utah from expected terrorism, and every Olympics since then, including RIO!