September 26, 2017

Youth Climate Intervenors: Sophia Manolis

Sophia Manolis is one of the Youth Climate Intervenors—13 young people who have been granted full status as a formal intervening party in Minnesota’s contested case permit process for Enbridge's Line 3 tar sands pipeline. Read more about the Youth Climate Intervenors here.

Sophia Manolis is one of the 13 Youth Climate Intervenors fighting the Line 3 Pipeline

Name: Sophia Manolis

Hometown (and how long you have lived there): I have lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota my whole life.

Age/Year in school: Junior in high school

How did you get involved with Line 3?

I heard about it through YEA! MN (Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota) and from there got the opportunities to work with the Sierra Club against Line 3 and become an intervenor.

Why do you care about stopping Line 3?

I care about stopping Line 3 because I care about my future and the future of my peers. I care about Minnesota ecosystems and clean water, and I care about moving towards a renewable energy future. I believe that Line 3 will affect all of us, and that the more we can do now to stop climate change, the more we will preserve safe futures for everyone. I know that the more people who stand against Line 3, the better. There is not one person who can’t make a difference in regards to this issue.

What does being a Youth Climate Intervenor mean to you?

To me, being an intervenor means that I can have a voice in a process that I know will have direct effects on all youth in the future. I know that young people do not usually hold representation in processes like these, so it means a lot to me that I am able to voice my own concerns while also voicing the collective concerns of other young people. It’s empowering to think that I can finally make a difference about something I care about so much.

How does this impact your city? Why should Line 3 matter to Minneapolis?

Line 3 will impact Minneapolis in many ways. It will lock us all in a future of more dependency on oil and make it much harder to move towards renewable energy sources, increasing the effects of climate change. Climate change will affect ALL of us, whether we like it or not. It will cause  more financial stress and health problems, and it will ruin many of Minnesota’s ecosystems. Already we no longer have the Minnesota winters that we used to.

Line 3 will also pollute our air and water. Oil spills are inevitable and happen all over the country pretty much every day. Line 3 would be built through some of Minnesota’s most pristine drinking water, and there would be no way to protect that drinking water once construction is underway.

Finally, Line 3 would disproportionately affect Native communities and communities of color. The pipeline would go through treaty lands and sacred wild rice habitat, perpetuating century long patterns of racism and disrespect for Native cultures. It would also make it harder for low income communities in the future when climate change increases financial stress on everyone.

What is a fun fact no one would know about you?

I have been a competitive swimmer for 8 years, and I currently swim year-round. I also love music and play the guitar and violin.

Meet the Youth Climate Intervenors

Check back soon for profiles of the rest of the Youth Climate Intervenors!