09/25/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Following the Lead of a 10-year-old

When you were 10-years-old, what were you doing? I know it may be harder for some of us to remember than others, but let me ask you another question. Did you consider yourself an organizer? For many us, our work as organizers did not begin until much later in life, but for Nikos Spiridakis it is already in full swing.

During a family road trip from Denver to Los Angeles when Nikos was 8 in the summer of 2007, Nikos experienced countless forest fires along the way--helping to open his eyes to the severity of global warming and the need for urgent action to tackle this climate crisis. Like many of us who care about this issue, the nagging question of "what can I do to stop global warming" lingered in his mind throughout the trip.

While sitting in the car at a gas station more recently, watching the digits on the gas pump escalate, Nikos was inspired to make a powerful global warming video. His film is currently one of the sample videos for the 1Sky and Brighter Planet national video contest: Climate Matters--Inspire Your Next President!

The metronomic beeping of the pump reminded him of a heart rate monitor--metaphorically monitoring the health of our planet. With each beep, images of forest fires, crumbling ice caps, crowded freeways, pollution, and unsustainable drilling practices flashed through his mind. With the help of his family, Nikos wrote and directed a chillingly powerful climate PSA--overcoming his extreme dyslexia and turning his idea into a powerful message. The first time I saw it I literally burst into tears--overcome with emotion seeing the climate collapse through the eyes of a young child, and thinking about my own.

Check out Nikos' 60 second film here:

Are you inspired by Nikos' film? Are you still wondering what you can do to help reverse global warming?

1Sky and Brighter Planet have teamed up to launch a new national video message competition--Climate Matters: Inspire Your Next President! Now is your chance to grab your camera and start filming a message to Congress and our next President, urging them to take bold action to stop global warming. An impressive panel including Maggie Gyllenhaal from Batman the Dark Knight will judge the submissions and the best messages will be shown to a potential audience of more than 50 million homes nationwide as well as our leaders. And the grand prizewinner will win a $3000 Brighter Planet gift card.

You have seen the creativity and power of one film produced by a 10 year old boy--imagine the power of hundreds of films. Now is the time to show Congress and the next President that the American people care about climate change and expect dramatic, science-based actions to tackle our climate crisis. Film your message and upload it now to the competition page. If Nikos can do it, you can too!