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
On Merville groundwater extraction it’s deja vu all over again
Regional district staff recommend approving an amended application for groundwater extraction in Merville as a “home occupation,” but rural area directors want more clarity on its legal definition
Merville water bottling issue returns to the CVRD, highlights provincial water policies
The Comox Valley Electoral Areas Service Commission will consider on Monday an amended application for water bottling operations in Merville and draw attention to larger water policy issues in British Columbia
What’s dire: the lack of Comox subdivisions or climate change and gradual deforestation?
A Comox Valley developer is suing the Town of Comox because his permits to cut down trees and build more single-family homes haven’t been issued as fast as he’s wanted and because the town wants a wider walking trail through the property
Join the discussion Oct. 3 about food system security in the Comox Valley
The Watershed Sentinel magazine is hosting a zoom webinar Oct. 3 on food system security in the Comox Valley
Comox Valley Nature webinar to discuss effect of climate change on marine life
Comox Valley Nature lecture to discuss how this summer’s heatwave killed off billions of sea life and the future for marine ecosystems
New North Island organics processing facility raises concerns about cost, fire and odours
Campbell River environmentalists raise concerns about the the cost and location of the Comox Strathcona Waste Management Commission’s new organics processing facility
THE WEEK: 5 things wrong with how Comox tried to hide sewage spill information
Comox Town Council has nothing to say about raw sewage leaking into Brooklyn Creek beyond issuing a press release, which makes misleading statements
Tonnes of sewage mud removed from Brooklyn Creek, nearby residents say its been piling up for years
A Town of Comox infrastructure failure could have spilled raw sewage into Brooklyn Creek for a long time, according to nearby residents who have noticed unusual plant growth and sewage-type odours for nearly 24 months. Mayor and councilors say they didn’t know about it
Town of Comox spills raw sewage into Brooklyn Creek, doesn’t inform public
A broken pipe has spilled raw sewage into Brooklyn Creek and it appears that efforts to mitigate the damage have created a high level of turbidity, a double whammy for fish as well as a potential public health concern. But the Town of Comox has not yet formally informed the public.
Campbell River Environmental Committee lists its current top priorities
The Campbell River Environmental Committee has kept North Island residents aware of environmental risks and promoted awareness of potential concerns to help government and industry make informed decisions