Revelstoke students were part of the millions last week that gathered for a global strike demanding world leaders to address climate change.
The worldwide strike was inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who took part in a rally in New York after sailing across the Atlantic in an emissions-free yacht.
|16 year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg arrives to attend the 49th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)|
Thunberg is in New York for the UN climate summit, which is part of the United Nations General Assembly.
Thunberg gave a speech at the summit, which opened today.
“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you,”
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” Thunberg said.
She added that the generations that have polluted the most have burdened her and her generation with the extreme impacts of climate change.
The rally in Revelstoke was partly organized by the North Columbia Environmental Society as well as local students.
“I would like a better planet for the next generation. I don’t think we have to lose anymore species of animals and planets,” said Alexandra Luxmoore, a Revelstoke student who was one of the main organizers of the event.
According to a recent report published in Science Magazine, North America has lost 2.9 billion birds since 1970, which represents a population decline of 29 per cent.
The largest losses are among the sparrows, warblers and starlings.
“This loss of bird abundance signals an urgent need to address threats to avert future avifaunal collapse and associated loss of ecosystem integrity, function and services,” said the study.
The World Wildlife Fund for Nature, a non-governmental organization for wilderness preservation, reported last year that global wildlife populations have decline by 60 per cent on average in the last 40 years.
They concluded that habitat loss due to agriculture and over exploitation of species is the largest threats to biodiversity.
|Alexandra Luxmoore, Grade nine is one of the events organizers. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)|
“I would just like a better planet for the next generation,” Luxmoore said.
Roughly 400 students and 28 business took part in local rally last week. There were speeches from students, city councillors and superintendent Mike Hooker.
Luxmoore said there will be another rally this Friday on city hall steps during lunch.
Since it’s election season, Luxmoore wants to remind people that they are voting for their children’s future.
“What planet are they going to leave for their kids?”