Story by Laura Moser, 2014-15 CivicSpark Alumna, Sacramento Region

I’m Laura Moser, a CivicSpark alumna from last year’s Sacramento team. I worked with Melanie Chu to write a Climate Adaptation Plan that was adopted by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments to help build capacity for the regional transportation system to adapt to climate change. It was an eye-opening experience, and since completing my service year, it’s become even clearer to me that climate change is one of the most pressing problems facing our world.

For the last three months, I traveled throughout Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. It was an incredible experience, but reminders were everywhere of the tension between society and nature, from the thick blanket of smog covering Santiago to a baby sea lion in Uruguay that we saw struggling with a scrap of fishing net around its neck.

But we also saw hope.

We watched one of the only advancing glaciers in the world (Perito Moreno Glacier) as it thundered and cracked, shaping the valley with its unimaginable power. Dozens of travelers we met were passionate about making the world a better place, and active in engaging their communities at home towards change. Thousands of acres throughout Patagonia have been set aside for conservation, ensuring that future generations can enjoy the same spectacular landscapes we did. Hopefully, these generations will be inspired, as all of us involved with CivicSpark have been, to keep up the fight to take care of this precious Earth.