Andreas Psahos

Hunter College High School, ‘20    “Climate change is truly the issue for today's youth, and it is time that we stepped up to challenge it. The intricate intersections between seemingly unrelated issues like climate, race, and social status, make climate change all the more pressing and far-reaching. Climate Speaks will be a step towards starting important discussions and bringing the community together.”   Andreas, all four of whose grandparents immigrated from Greece, is a proud resident of Astoria. He loves writing and finding new ways to express his identity through art, and he plays both jazz and indie drums, most recently at Teens Take the Met! Andreas volunteers across the city and hopes to study public policy and law so that he can articulate the concerns of his community and those who do not have a sufficient voice in the public sphere. He is inspired by his friends and other teens--by their interests and passions--“on the daily.”

Hunter College High School, ‘20

“Climate change is truly the issue for today's youth, and it is time that we stepped up to challenge it. The intricate intersections between seemingly unrelated issues like climate, race, and social status, make climate change all the more pressing and far-reaching. Climate Speaks will be a step towards starting important discussions and bringing the community together.”

Andreas, all four of whose grandparents immigrated from Greece, is a proud resident of Astoria. He loves writing and finding new ways to express his identity through art, and he plays both jazz and indie drums, most recently at Teens Take the Met! Andreas volunteers across the city and hopes to study public policy and law so that he can articulate the concerns of his community and those who do not have a sufficient voice in the public sphere. He is inspired by his friends and other teens--by their interests and passions--“on the daily.”

Corporate Round Table

Corporate Round Table

I walked into the polished board room expecting change,

the door locked. I sat across BP and Coca Cola and GM and

prepared to talk.

Off the bat —

Coca Cola tells me, “don’t be afraid” —

He tells me, don’t be afraid about how the workers get paid

or how the sausage gets made,

That I should let the bubbles that hurt so good roll off my tongue

And flow through my veins. And I try, in vain.

Because the can’s already been shaken,

taken across the world, swollen, rattled, crashing

down among the waves in Puerto Rico and kicked

to the curb by student protestors,

that when I pull the pin,

the volcano erupts, a violent pop of pressurized

carbon dioxide and methane covering everything in sight.

Coca Cola admitted in March that it produces three million tonnes

of plastic packaging every year.

BP spends fifty-three million dollars annually lobbying to

stop climate change legislation.

It is then that I realize that I have no seat at this table.

That I am invisible.

That company men have no business making this earth hospitable,

or making the water more drinkable or making life more livable—

Despicable, criminal …. Predictable

but goddamn is this room nice!

But goddamn is this carpet soft and this table

shiny and granite and this chair (gasp) —

Is this Italian leather?!?

Is this hellish weather?

Is this Earth and me dying together?

Well, it depends.

It’s all about how you package yourself—

How well you can rebrand yourself,

twist to form an imperfect mold and

hide behind a green mask.

The door is locked, and I have no seat at the table.

Even so, I am what is being bartered,

traded for a brand new factory here or a new mine there—

I am what is being affected, when my relatives in Greece have to

evacuate their homes, just a few miles from raging wildfires spurned by

climate change.

The door is locked, and we have no seat at the table.

In fact, we aren’t even allowed into the room,

clawing at the wood and peeking through the keyhole.

And while we may never find the key,

with enough of us,

we can sure as hell bust the door open.