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’s cheerful tone, belies the seriousness of the message he wants to impart.

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 students from schools across the region have 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) actionfrom 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.

Recently the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned there would be irreversible changes and the loss of ecosystems if the world didn’t act to cut greenhouse gases dramatically.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaNewsKat
kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

RV lifestyle comes to the Okanagan

BC Interior RV Show returns to Penticton for the eighth year

Funding brings sigh or relief for Penticton Search and Rescue

Province announces a funding injection for operations, equipment and training

‘Cowardly acts’ towards homeless continue in Osoyoos

RCMP confirm they are investigating two incidents of assault on a homeless person

Turning an Okanagan hospital’s medical waste into art

Safe recycled waste materials are being used by local artists to create art

Total hogwash: Mr. Banks gives cars a piggy polish

Mr. Banks, who lives on the Critteraid farm in the Okanagan, was offering the service on the weekend

VIDEO: Fire contained to garage beside East Kelowna house

Garage is fully involved, say firefighters

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

Young mother dies in Highway 3 semi collision

According to friends the victim was on her way to work, to a job she started earlier in the week

Animals seized again from North Okanagan property

Animals to be seized not yet confirmed

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Most Read