Spencer Young hopes the large turnout for climate strike in Duncan on Sept. 20 will make a difference.
Young, a Grade 9 student at Quamichan School, said he hopes the hundreds of people who gathered in Duncan City Square to show their support for action against climate change will change the minds of many who don’t believe it is happening, or are complacent about it.
“I hope they listen to what is being said here today,” he said as more than 500 people, both young and old, hoisted signs and listened to speeches and songs about their cause at the event, organized by the Cowichan Valley branch of the Earth Guardians.
Sukey Robertson-Heggs, a Grade 7 student from Queen Margaret’s School attended the strike with her mother Emily.
She said she wanted to show her support to fight climate change because she believes there’s little time left before major consequences due to inaction are felt globally.
“If we continue as we are, climate change will be irreversible,” Sukey said.
“I just hope people finally take note before it’s too late.”
An estimated two million across the globe took part in climate strikes on Friday, and many more are expected to participate in the week of climate action that will run until Sept. 27.
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who inspired youth climate strikes around the planet last spring, including the one in Duncan, had called for the world-wide strikes this week, and invited grown-ups to join young people in drawing attention to the growing climate crisis.
Hundreds of people, both youths and adults, turned up to show their support in dealing with climate change at the first Youth Climate Strike for Action that was also held on May 17 in Duncan City Square, and organizers were pleased that there was an even bigger turnout this time to get the message across.
People with petitions circulated through the crowd gathering signatures asking that the voting age be lowered to 16 to allow more youths to vote for candidates willing to deal with climate change.
Katia Bannister, a member of the Earth Guardians, said she was delighted with the turnout for the strike.
But she acknowledged that there’s still a lot of work ahead.
“It’s about changing a lot of minds and convincing people to do a complete make over of the way they live their lives,” she said.
“I think our revolution stems from the earth and the heart and it will touch everyone, whether they like it or not. It’s about a total change of the system and the need for everyone to stand together to meet the challenge.”
Madison Barron, a student from Francis Kelsey Secondary School, said she attended the strike because she wants the children she will eventually have to have a future.
“I just hope the message is heard,” she said.
“Many students from my school are here and we were supported by our teachers. Even BC Transit supplied us with free bus tickets so we could be at the strike.”