University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Vice President: So what’s the question? how do you think about life
Student: I’m really nervous now. (Laughter.)
Vice President: What’s your name?
Student: Noah. Nice to meet you.
Vice President: Hi Noah. (Inaudible.) Well, listen me — you know, I’ve been traveling all over the country and a lot of the work I’m doing these days now that all the COVID restrictions have been lifted. was to meet student. you guys are where it is. I’m telling you, you guys are where it is.
VICE PRESIDENT: Well, you are very kind, but here’s what I want you to know: I need your leadership. all right?
When you look at what’s happening in our country right now, it’s very basic, in terms of whether we support democracy, whether we support the principles for which we were founded, about liberty and liberty. There are many things.
I don’t have to tell you guys — we’re literally coming out of a nearly two-year pandemic that told people to quarantine and what that means in terms of people feeling lonely.
And, as you know, when a person feels lonely, he becomes very powerless. And the strength of our country will always be: We think we have more in common than what separates us.
Part of your leadership that I ask of you is to remind people about community and wholeness and the fact that we are all in this together.
And one of the other issues that I would really like to ask you to take the initiative on is that everyone you know, including some who have already graduated from school, are proactive about the importance of the climate crisis. is to remind
You will pay the price for what we have done or haven’t done in this matter.
I was just meeting with a group of people and talking about having a conversation with a FEMA administrator last night about what’s going on in Puerto Rico and how the island has been devastated by extreme weather. rice field.
And in California, where I’m from, we’re seeing extreme weather in the form of wildfires. My brother-in-law is a firefighter.
Tell me—Is that so? — what is happening to those who are evacuating entire communities because of these wildfires. We were talking about “wildfire season.” It’s all year round now.
You see hurricanes and floods.
So what do you need to do? — It’s next: Let’s save this planet, these precious resources it has and gives us to sustain life.
And I expect you to remind people of the fact that let’s not accept the wrong choice, right? Investing in the clean energy economy is about creating jobs. That’s what we also guarantee—so that you and your children and grandchildren can breathe clean air and drink clean water.
Our job is to work with partners around the world. Because I will lead the Universal Council. I sometimes talk to astronauts in space. The last group is because I was at the Johnson Space Center in Houston and actually went to the Artemis launch in Florida. Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to our plan. we delayed it.
But when I talk to astronauts, I ask them — some of them in space (inaudible) — and say, “Have you ever seen that being in space changed your perspective on this? Please tell me.” And they tell me right?
So this issue of the climate crisis, in addition to all the other issues that you all are working on and thinking about in the context of the work of government, the work of each of us, right? What are your thoughts on what we need to do in a way that addresses some of these issues and eliminates unnecessary conflict and partisanship? We are all in this together, so let’s unite on this. It doesn’t matter who you voted for last time or who you voted for next time. If we do not come together on this issue, we will all pay a price.
Anyway, I just wanted to say to you guys, I’m really proud of you for starting your freshman year, except for one. You guys met, sat next to each other, and I’m telling you that you’ll be friends for life.
My freshman year, I finally met the people I ended up being their children’s godparents. Right? people you’ve known all your life.
Enjoy the experience. And your big brain is like a sponge now. So absorb it all. Ask all questions. and just lead. Just lead—because we need you guys. all right. Thank you everyone. (applause.)