Despite the frigid cold, three brave youths took the day off from school to stand up against climate change.
Bundled up in warm winter jackets, snow pants, mittens and toques, 12-year-olds Skylar Calvert, Ben Pinhiro and Sadie Mullin stood outside City Hall with handmade cardboard posters to speak with people about the climate crisis.
“This is not ideal,” Pinhiro said about the weather, but the three Friday for Future members said they’ve been through worse.
“Last time, it rained the entire time and our signs basically melted,” Mullin said.
Friday for Futures heads out with their posters and educational materials twice a month, the kids said, and they speak with people in hopes to educate the general public and advocate for change.
“They need to know how to help the cause and what climate change is doing, honestly,” Pinhiro said.
Other things the public needs to know, he added, is the ins-and-outs of the three R’s — reusing, reducing and recycling — and to limit driving, eating red meats and move towards shopping and eating locally in order to reduce green house gas emissions.
Inspired by 16-year-old Swedish advocate, Greta Thunberg, these three young Vernonites said it’s important they speak out.
“The next generation might not get an earth to inhabit,” Mullin said.
In their personal lives, the three kids are doing their best to practice what they preach. They use reusable cups and avoid plastic wherever they can. They encourage their parents drive smaller or hybrid vehicles and only drive when necessary. Plus, they compost and recycle “a lot.”
Mullin said she appreciated the City of Vernon’s composting program and would encourage more programs like it with regular pickup and a wider recycling program.
The three students said above all else, education is the key.
“Without education, people don’t do anything because they don’t know any better,” Mullin said.
And their message to climate deniers:
“The facts are right there,” Mullin said. “They need to look at them and stop trying to find an argument with holes in it — they need to look at the climate and not the weather and understand they’re different things.”
Although a protest was planned by Earth Strike Vernon between noon and 3 p.m., according to a tweet, no one was spotted outside the court house between 1-2 p.m.