Kelowna students to walk out of class in protest of climate change inaction

They will be protesting inaction and apathy around the environmental issue.

Aidan Kenny has a cheerful outlook that belies the seriousness of the work he and his peers have in front of them.

He’s one among countless students around the globe who want to see an end to the inaction around climate change, and will be walking out of classes Friday to make sure their concerns are heard.

Kenny, a UBC Okanagan student working in conjunction with environmentally minded high school students from schools across the region, has planned a peaceful march from Kerry Park to Stuart Park to raise awareness about climate issues in the Okanagan.

There will be some speech making, success stories will be shared and they’re going to press political leaders to push toward a more sustainable Kelowna for all.

“I think it’s important for us because it’s the biggest problem we face as a generation right now. It’s such a far-reaching issue—there’s nobody it’s not going to impact,” said Kenny.

“I think climate change something we all know about and something that’s been happening for so long without (enough) action from governments and business groups. Inaction today will cause more damage along the way.”

Kenny’s generation of Okanaganites have seen spring and summer renamed flood and fire season, and they’ve grown used to the sight of smoke rolling over the valley as thousands of hectares of forest go up in smoke.

That said, there’s not a feeling of hopelessness among his peers.

“I think we all have the capability to affect change and having youth, not just from Kelowna, B.C. or Canada, all say, ‘We are all going to speak together — it’s really powerful,’” he said.

One of the more long-term goals Kenny said the group wants to see come from the youth movement is seeing Indigenous people have a more active role in discussions on mitigating climate change. For Friday, however, he’d like to see a big crowd.

“This event is youth focused, but it’s important that we see friends and parents, aunts and uncles, show their support, too,” he said. “The more support we have, the more of an impact we can make.”

The students encourage those who attend to listen to a lineup of local speakers and memorialize the moment by joining our climate ribbon ritual—a symbolic art project— at the event.

READ MORE: SCHOOL WALKOUT IN VICTORIA

The walks are being held across the globe and were sparked by Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish student, who in August 2018 started an international movement of students by deciding to protest climate change instead of going to class.

“Greta and so many that have followed her lead since then know that our planet has only a short time left before climate inaction will cause major changes to Earth as we know it. The effects of climate change can already be witnessed around the world,” reads a statement from the Kelowna group.

Just Posted

Eastside Road re-opened following repairs

Section of Eastside Road closed by the Ministry of Transportation is open after repairs.

Summerlanders urged to travel by bike

Bike to Work Week and Bike to School Week run May 27 to June 2

Update: Administrative error results in do-over for South Okanagan dangerous offender’s trial

Ronald Arthur Teneycke will return to Penticton court on June 5 to start the process over

Summerland Giant’s Head Run features Retro ’80s theme

Event will be held Saturday, June 1 at 6 p.m.

VIDEO: Bakers find inspiration in the news

Summerland Bakers’ Club potluck featured recipes inspired by news items

Trudeau touts economic record at Liberal fundraiser in Vancouver

The Prime Minister was in B.C. for much of this week

Okangan MP welcomes plan to fight human trafficking

Mel Arnold applauds Conservative plan for A Safer Canada

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

VIDEO: Suspected arson sends five to Abbotsford hospital with smoke inhalation

Man seen throwing flammable substance in van, lighting it on fire next to home

Okanagan elementary schools help Chinook salmon

Kingfisher is hosting a series of field trips to release the school-raised salmon

UPDATE: Water main break in Central Okanagan causes massive flooding

Glenmore Road and Highway 97 are affected by the water main break

Music and comedy event benefit Okanagan woman’s cancer battle

Fundraiser for Sue Folliott Sunday, May 26 at The Kal

Documentary on former hockey star to air in Kelowna

The story of 5-time Stanley Cup winner Grant Fuhr comes to Kelowna June 16

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Most Read