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

Kelowna Women’s Shelter Thrift Store broken into

Kelowna RCMP say that an undisclosed amount of cash and clothing was stolen

Oh deer: Bobcats, cougar, coyotes and deer spotted around Kelowna

Animal sightings have been reported from around the Central Okanagan

PHOTOS: Spring has sprung in the Okanagan-Shuswap

The new season is bringing warm weather across the region

UBC Okanagan students to weigh into pipeline debate

The Roger Watts Debate will be held March 27 in Kelowna

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Free app launches to help immigrants, refugees as they settle in B.C.

Mobile app Arrival Advisor was developed by Vancouver-based non-profit PeaceGeeks

Catch-up immunization aims to stamp out B.C. measles resurgence

Vaccination records to be checked at B.C. schools next fall

Four skiers caught in avalanche in Glacier National Park Sunday

No one was buried but one was transferred to hospital

Dairy farmers wary of federal effort to help industry

Concerns raised over vague details, funding access and impacts on growth

Bodies of two missing teens recovered in reservoir along Kootenay river

Volkswagen Beetle drove off the road down a steep embankment and into the Pend d’Oreille River Sunday

Visitors spend $4.5M during Penticton Peach Festival

Two-thirds of attendees were from out of town, spending $325 per person during the annual festival

40 records broken across B.C. as hot streak continues

Abbotsford hottest spot in Canada on Tuesday

B.C. wildfire prevention budget bulked up as dry spring unfolds

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Most Read