Photo by Fireweed
Orca and a dinosaur join Comox Valley youth in climate action march
Y outh Environmental Action (YEA) took to the streets of Courtenay on Friday, May 3, to highlight the desperate situation the local community, province, country, and, indeed, the globe faces as the long brewing climate catastrophic comes home to roost.
Homemade placards challenged early afternoon shoppers and drivers with “The Climate is Changing; Why aren’t We?” as well as “It’s Our Future” and “Lower the Voting Age Before It’s Too Late.”
The call to attend the march went out through various social media formats and was answered by daycare students with their parents, elementary and high school students coming to the event on city buses, and college students skipping classes as well as older supporters. The estimated 250 students from across the Comox Valley were joined by older supporters swelling their ranks to 300 avid climate activists.
They challenged all levels of government to find their environmental consciences. They had specific questions for Gord Johns, NDP MP, and Ronna-Rae Leonard, NDP MLA who greeted marchers outside of their shared downtown Courtenay office.
Ava Perkins wanted to know when climate sciences were going to be taught in K-12 classrooms.
Ella Oldaker wanted the two government officials and their parties to actively protect old and second growth forests.
Mackai Sharp wanted to know how the federal government intended to protect the West Coast from [offshore] drilling.
Sienna Stephens asked why the herring fishery was continuing unabated in the Strait, when herring are a food source for other marine species.
All good questions, both Johns and Leonard agreed. Johns encouraged youth to “raise the volume” in their quest to lead the world away from climate disaster, while Leonard cautioned everyone to remain constructive and work with lawmakers in making the world a better place.
Older supporters of the march reacted to Leonard by shouting down her mild responses to the student questions as typical NDP pablum. In response, Nalan Goosen, one of the founders of YEA, asked everyone in the crowd to listen respectfully to the politicians’ responses.
One four-year-old, Yma, told this reporter that she was at the march with her mother because “there are too many factories and big buildings” and too few trees.
One seventh grader, Cory McAllister, said he is home schooled but found out about the march on social media and felt he had to support YEA.
An orca and an eight-foot-high dinosaur also joined the march.
In the crowd of older supporters, Pam Monroe, sincerely apologized to the students. She explained, “I worked in Alberta in the oil and gas industry for years. My lifestyle profited,” she said, “at the expense of the environment.”
Pat Carl is a contributor to the Decafnation Civic Journalism Project
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Comox Valley Nature present free webinar lecture on the importance of herring to the Salish Sea ecosystem and the effects of hard shoring our coastline
During the recent aluminium tariff “trade war” between the US and Canada, the lowly beer can became a sign of the entire debacle. It began on August 6 when the US announced a ten per cent tariff on aluminium from Canada.
A small charitable society has restored a heritage home and property with the help of local government into a self-sustaining and job-creating destination for people from all over the world. It’s a possible model for Mack Laing’s property and home
Comox Valley electoral area directors told land applications of biosolids pose a danger to humans and a legal risk for the regional district, but the CVRD has invested heavily to produce a more highly treated Class A composting product
A reflection on Father Charles Brandt by Bruce Witzel, chair of the Brandt Oyster River Hermitage Society
The pandemic has created a bicycle boom, but do we have the necessary infrastructure to make cycling safe?
The Bevan Trails, a popular Comox Valley recreation area on the Puntledge River, faces the threat of logging. But a newly formed local society hopes to preserve the Puntledge River forest in perpetuity
International shipping is of the world biggest emitters of polluting and toxic chemicals. Now, scientists are tracking their emissions with satellite data
New funding from the BC Government announced today puts Project Watershed’s Kus-kus-sum fundraising over the top, allowing restoration to begin
The 97-year-old Roman Catholic hermit priest, Father Charles Brandt died Oct. 24 at the Comox Valley Hospital. This is his obituary.