Greta Thunberg has made an impression on Daniel Reilly.
Reilly said he was moved to action after seeing a video of Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swede who has made international headlines for her climate change activism.
“It just inspired me,” said Reilly, a Grade 9 student at L.V. Rogers. “[I said] ‘Okay, we need to take action right now.’”
Reilly was one of the organizers of a 24-hour sit in at LVR on Thursday and Friday. The idea came about after a talk with school principal Tamara Malloff, and is the latest awareness event organized by local students after a pair of school strikes earlier this year.
Reilly and co-organizers Jade Osecki were joined by over 30 other students who made signs, spoke to fellow students about climate change issues and spent the night sleeping in the hallways of the school.
Osecki, a Grade 10 student who is part of the school’s Youth Climate Action Team, said the sit in provoked discussion at LVR.
“A lot of students do have some opinions about it and think this is a waste of our time,” she said.
“We reassured them that the more kids that sit in, the more attention it grabs, the more local government will take climate change as a serious threat, and that [keeping global warming below] a 1.5 degree target is a realistic goal if everyone changes their habits and we work together as a team.”
Osecki and Reilly said they are already planning another strike in the fall just prior to the federal election in October.
For now, they want local residents to concentrate on what they can do to mitigate global warming.
“These changes aren’t new and exciting. They’ve been around for decades. It’s the fact that people still aren’t taking it seriously is the scary thing.”