Editorial: Earth Strike continues

Our youth are fighting for a future

The news about our environment over the past few weeks has been depressing, to say the least.

A million species on their way to extinction thanks to humans, according to one report. Another tells us the time left to do something real about climate change is numbered in years, not decades. Canada is warming twice as fast as the global average.

The news shouldn’t come as a surprise. Environmentalists have been making dire predictions about what human choices are doing to the environment for half a century.

We just didn’t want to listen to the environmentalists or recognize the warning signs that could be seen all around us. Many still don’t—even now, in the face of the recent scientific reports, there are still some who deny climate change.

And not believing in climate change is much easier than coming to terms with the major changes needed, much of which involve losing our aspirational status symbols; giant houses, big trucks and fast cars are going to have to be replaced by smaller energy-efficient housing and vehicles.

The same goes for all that plastic packaging that makes life so much easier.

Some people reading this editorial, if they got past the first sentence, are telling themselves that scientists don’t agree about climate change and the evidence isn’t solid.

Wrong. The evidence is there, and the majority of scientists working in environmental science are in agreement about the causes and the effects of climate change.

The future of the Earth would look pretty bleak, except for the fact the young people who will inherit this sorry mess are rising up and demanding that governments and society take real action.

In Vernon, a youth group wasn’t willing to let the Earth Strike movement go with just one protest. They’ve arranged three so far, and hopefully, have no plans of stopping.

Kieran Grandbois, one of their organizers, had a powerful, simple message.

“This is a definitive turning point in history,” she said. “Which side will you stand on? The one that stood for our right to a clean planet or the side that stood idly by?”

That kind of clear-thinking and recognition of the problems we face, coming from a Grade 10 student, is a reason for hope for the future.

As more of these youth reach voting age, hopefully, they can bring about the policy shifts and faster response to the climate change crisis that is so badly needed.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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