Over 400 students in Revelstoke, BC, along with hundreds of adults and 28 businesses/groups showed up outside City Hall on Friday, September 20 2019, for a climate event that coincides with the global movement Fridays for Future. Concerned for their future and worried that adults gloss over their concerns as not real, the youth are trying to affect change at a government level.
“People pretend that nothing is wrong because they don’t want to give anything up,” says one teen on her lunch break. “Maybe they don’t want to admit our culture, so really them, have been doing anything wrong in how they live. Maybe they’re scared to give anything up. Would it really be so bad to go back eating the way people did fifty years ago? Or not having as much clothing or buying used or investing in alternative energies? Adults who are making rules aren’t going to have to live with the consequences, but they get so worked up with the idea they need to change.”
Another teen puts the onus on elected politicians and the importance of voting for those who prioritize the environment. “Isn’t it their job to ensure the things being sold to citizens aren’t going to kill them or the planet? Why doesn’t the government stop allowing the import of food treated with certain toxins, or clothing made with hazardous chemicals, so they aren’t an option and people aren’t contributing unwittingly to ecological destruction?”
In addition to speeches by students, school superintendent Mike Hooker, and city councillors, dozens of presentations were on display. Created by youth and various organizations, the booths were meant to showcase the ramifications of increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There were also plenty of innovation on display from the youth and businesses/groups downtown as they demonstrated some various steps individuals can take to reduce their impact on the environment. From making your own toothpaste, creating bags from old shirts, the positive reasons to have backyard chickens, to the reasons why everyone should compost, these younger students had plenty of realistic options for people to try.